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According to the American Medical Association, more than 70 percent of people misusing opioid painkillers first got them from family or friends. And the risk to children is rising. As abuse of opioids grows, safely storing these drugs in your home and getting rid of them when you’re done is key.
Storing opioids safely
According to the American Association of Family Physicians you can store your opioids safely if you keep the following in mind:
Getting rid of your opioids
If you are done taking an opioid, don't keep any leftovers to use in the future. Both pill and patch opioids often come with disposal instructions.
A good way to get rid of unused medicine is through a "take-back" event. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and local police host take-back events in many cities nationwide. You can also visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control's website at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov or call the agency's call center at 1-800-882-9539 to find a location. Many larger pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens offer take-back services and/or special disposal bags. Local waste management companies also can direct you to a take-back program.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates you can also dispose of drugs yourself at any time with these steps:
Sources of information for this article and where you can go to learn more include the American Medical Association, American Association of Family Physicians, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.