Now Available in 10 States
DENVER, Oct. 4, 2016 – A new, easy-to-use, drug take-back program, announced by Cordant Health Solutions www.cordantsolutions.com, allows patients to safely and conveniently return unused prescribed pain medication for legal disposal, and help prevent a leading cause of prescription drug deaths – medication theft from the home and improper drug sharing.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, approximately 77 percent of opioid prescription medications taken by new users are obtained from a friend or relative. Sixty-two percent of teens who admit taking medication for non-medical reasons say they get drugs from medicine cabinets in their homes. This creates a dangerous temptation to experiment with controlled substances and risk catastrophic outcomes. Parents who are prescribed opioids should dispose of unused drugs when they no longer are needed for pain relief.
In 2014, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from drug overdoses than in any year on record, and 6 in 10 overdose deaths involved an opioid. From 2000 to 2014, there were more than a half million reported deaths from drug overdoses, and it is estimated that 78 opioid-related deaths occur every day in the United States.
“There is a glaring unmet need for a free, ongoing and convenient community-based service that allows consumers to safely dispose of opioids and other drugs,” said Susan Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant. “The Cordant drug take-back program is simple and straightforward. It provides mail-back envelops to patients who use Cordant’s specialized pharmacies, or doctors can give the envelopes to patients with their prescriptions.”
Recently, the Washington State Hospital Association notified its members about Cordant’s new take-back program. “This is a simple and long overdue program bringing a business solution to the opioids crisis that does not require legislation,” said Paul Unsworth, WSHA’s director of business development. Odessa Clinic, a rural health system in the state was one of first providers to implement the Cordant take-back service.
“We frequently get calls from patients asking what to do with their unused medications,” said Barbara Schlimmer, manager of the Odessa Clinic. “Now we have a simple and practical solution for proper and safe disposal of medications so they don’t stay in medicine cabinets.”
Drug Take-Back Programs are Effective
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has a biannual drug take-back program, but many are unaware it is available, and drugs can stay in homes for months until the next DEA take-back. Despite this limitation, DEA has destroyed nearly 3,000 tons of unused medications, and studies have shown that medication take-back programs can help reduce accidental overdosing.
Patients can fill the Cordant take-back envelopes with their unused drugs in the original containers, affix the prepaid mailing label, and place in any U.S Postal Service mailbox. The program satisfies requirements of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act.
“This is the simplest and most effective way for disposal of old and potentially dangerous medications, and it’s a major step forward to curb our country’s opioid misuse epidemic,” said Sommer.
The Cordant take-back program currently is available in 10 states: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Based in Denver, Cordant Health Solutions™ is at the forefront of combating today’s opioid epidemic through its network of toxicology laboratories and pharmacies. Cordant is committed to providing solutions for payers, clinicians and agencies involved with addiction, criminal justice and pain management. Cordant is one of the only toxicology laboratories that includes a full-service, high-touch pharmacy that specializes in complex management and dispensing of controlled substances. Cordant provides testing protocols and digital case-management tools to help customers become more efficient and effective in using toxicology test results.