Opioid Epidemic: CVS Installing Drug Disposal Bins to Help Fight Prescription Opioid Abuse
The opioid epidemic, spurred on by abuse of prescription opioids such as fentanyl, claimed over 20,000 lives in 2016 alone, according to reports from the CDC. Other prescription opioid abuse statistics in states such as D.C. show that the number of people dying from opioid overdose is twice as high as the state’s homicide rate in 2017. With the high numbers of affected people, the CVS stores have put in drug disposal bins at three of their stores in an effort to stop further prescription opioid abuse.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that have a medical purpose: to treat severe and chronic pain. They are some of the most powerful drugs with this purpose because of how they affect the reward centers of a person’s brain. By blocking the sensation of pain and flooding the brain with rewarding chemicals that make a person feel euphoric, opioids are able to have a significant effect on pain.
However, opioids require a prescription because of the risks involved, specifically the high abuse risk. The drug is highly addictive and prescription opioid abuse or use of the drug in a way other than how it was prescribed is common.
What is The Purpose of The Drug Disposal Bins?
Since there are many homes with a bottle of opioids stored in a medicine cabinet that are no longer needed, the purpose of the drug disposal bins is to provide a safe place for people to get rid of their unwanted pills. The bins are secured with several locks and each bin is placed inside of the CVS store so that it can be monitored around the clock.
The hopes of putting these disposal units in the CVS stores is to prevent further prescription opioid abuse in adults and in the youth that may have access to the pills if left around the home. The strict prescriptions that are given to people with severe or chronic pain are not meant to be altered in any way. Prescriptions may be stopped earlier but the excess opioids are not meant to be kept around the house and self-prescribed for any future pain problems – for new pain issues, a doctor should be consulted. Some doctors may also over-prescribe opioids and safely getting rid of the excess after the need for the medication has passed can be a concern.
How Many Drug Disposal Units Are There in D.C.?
With the addition of the three drug disposal units in the CVS stores along with the two units in Walgreens stores, there are a total of five in the region. However, this is just a start says CVS stores. The company plans to introduce the drug disposal units in over 270 of their stores across the country, given the millions of people affected by the epidemic a place to dispose of their unwanted opioids without the risk that someone is going to abuse them.
Prescription opioid abuse statistics make it clear that there are millions of people who need help with prescription opioid dependence. For those that are already affected by prescription opioid abuse and want to find help, rehabs found at Better Addiction Care can provide with the top level of care needed to overcome prescription opioid dependence. Find the right treatment for prescription opioid abuse for yourself or someone you care for by calling Better Addiction Care at 1.800.429.7690.