Simple Ways to Responsibly Dispose of Unwanted or Unused Medications
BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — April 18, 2023 — In advance of National Prescription Drug Takeback Day on April 22, 2023, Stericycle, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRCL), a leading provider of regulated medical waste management and secure information destruction solutions, is supporting this call-to-action for everyone to take steps to combat opioid drug misuse by helping to prevent unintended access to medications in the home. Sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Prescription Drug Takeback Day is an opportunity to educate the public and healthcare organizations on how they can use responsible medication disposal practices to help prevent environmental contamination within their local communities while simultaneously helping to protect health and well-being.
In a single year, more than 14 million Americans misused prescription drugs, nearly 9 million misused opioids, and drug overdose deaths surpassed 100,000. A majority of the healthcare providers surveyed in Stericycle’s 2022 Healthcare Workplace Safety Trend Report believe improperly disposed pharmaceutical waste is one of the biggest contributors to the opioid epidemic and also believe that 59% of patients do not know how to dispose of medical waste safely. This report also found that 82% of the providers surveyed believe opioid diversion is harder to manage in at-home care settings, and 68% said they believe that with the rise of at-home care comes the rise of drug diversion and misuse. Medications improperly disposed down the drain can also cause contamination to waterways.
“This country is facing a national health crisis that continues to plague our communities,” said Cory White, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Stericycle. “Local businesses and the general public can help combat drug diversion to take back their communities and keep them safe and healthy.”
While people may be aware of the opioid crisis, they may not understand how they can play a role in tackling this public health issue. Stericycle offers two simple ways for consumers to dispose of their unwanted or unused medications year-round. Using these solutions rather than holding on to unused or expired medications can help prevent unauthorized access to drugs by friends and family members, which is how many individuals initially get exposed or addicted to opioids.
- Consumer Medication Mail Back Envelopes: These secure, pre-paid envelopes allow people to anonymously send unused medication to an incineration facility for proper treatment prior to disposal. Pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare organizations may also give out these envelopes to patients when prescribing opioids to proactively facilitate proper disposal. These envelopes are USPS-approved, and no DEA registration is required to use them.
- Medication Collection Kiosks: These secure medication collection kiosks are placed in public DEA-registered locations within a community, such as retail or hospital pharmacies. Individuals can anonymously drop off unwanted drugs in the kiosks at any time. The collected material is then sent for incineration prior to disposal.
Stericycle is committed to delivering practical and user-friendly solutions that streamline the medication disposal process for consumers. For more information on the options we offer for post-consumer pharmaceutical waste disposal, visit the Stericycle website.
Stericycle, Inc., is a U.S. based business-to-business services company and leading provider of compliance-based solutions that protects people and brands, promotes health and well-being and safeguards the environment. Stericycle serves customers in the U.S. and 16 countries with solutions for regulated waste and compliance services and secure information destruction. For more information about Stericycle, please visit stericycle.com.