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Storing and Disposing of Opioid Analgesics: What Does Our Medicine Tell Us?

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Abstract: Background: Medication diversion represents the largest source of misused opioid analgesics (1). Unused opioid analgesics are seldom safely stored or disposed of (1–3), creating a large supply for diversion. Most patients lack knowledge about safe storage and disposal of opioids (4). Recent reports call for clear and consistent messages about safe practices (5). Providers rarely counsel patients on safe storage and disposal despite promising evidence supporting such interventions as an effective mechanism to improve patient behaviors (4). Drug package inserts include prescribing information for providers (6) and are an avenue for conveying information on safe storage and disposal. How medication packaging presents this information to providers is unknown.
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