Being Rxesponsible When it Comes to Disposing of Old Prescription Medications

Print icon

Older prescriptions in our homes can cause all sorts of problems, not the least of which are abuse and addiction. Rushford Medical Director Dr. J. Craig Allen explains how getting old or expired medications out of your house responsibly can help fight the nation’s opioid crisis. 

Q: You see what happens when prescription medications get into the wrong hands. How common is it for children or teens to take pills from a medicine cabinet intended for someone else?

A: More than half of the opioid medications adolescents get they get for free from friends and family. And 80% of new heroin users first started by using opioid analgesic pills. It’s important to dispose of any unused pills and it’s important to store pills you are using safely. A recent study showed there’s been a tripling of overdose deaths in adolescents and children all related to the increased exposure and access they have to these drugs.

Q: Tell us about treatments offered at Hartford HealthCare, including MATCH (Medication Assisted Treatment Close to Home).

A: Medication assisted treatment close to home, MATCH clinics offer medication, psychotherapy and other treatment options all under one roof. They were designed to knowing that people have busy lives and work and family obligations. Flexible and effective treatment is offered in a supportive setting in a nearby location.

Q: Tell us about the “Be Rxesponsible” campaign. 

A: This campaign is truly a win-win. It is about disposing of unused, unwanted and expired medications safely, and in a way that is not harmful to the environment.

We are giving away drug de-activation kits which allow the user to fill a biodegradable bag with pills, add warm water and then simply throw the bag in the garbage.  You should never flush pills down the toilet because of the harm it causes to the environment and you should never leave them in the house because they could end up in the wrong hands.

Q: What should someone do if they are worried there may be a problem with prescription drug use? 

A: If you are concerned about yourself or someone you love developing a problem with prescription drugs, talk to your primary care physician, or connect with MATCH for an assessment.

For more information on the MATCH program for addiction, click here or call 1-855-825-4026. If you wish to remove drugs from your home responsibly, visit BeRXesponsible.org for a FREE drug deactivation kit. 

 


What's New

Anger

Why People, And Medical Researchers, Need Help with Anger

Anger is the first negative emotion babies can express and research shows that as many people seek treatment for it as depression and anxiety combined. Yet it is not officially classified a mental health disorder which, according to Dr. Ray DiGuiseppe, director of education with the Albert Ellis Institute and...


High Preparedness: Legal or Not, What’s Weed Do to Drivers?

Dr. Godfrey Pearlson Director, Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living Research Director, Institute of Living Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network Whatever the outcome of the current debate on legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut, we need to know more about marijuana’s overall effect on the brain and behavior...

Suicide Prevention

Warning Signs of Suicide: How You Can Possibly Save a Life

This column originally appeared in The CT Mirror. By Dr. James O’Dea Vice President, Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network In just a matter of days, two survivors of the Parkland, Fla., shooting and the father of a first-grade girl killed in the Sandy Hook massacre took his own life. With...

Gut Bugs

The Amazing Psychology of Your ‘Gut Bugs’

“Go with your gut” now has some science behind it. New research suggest that the gut microbiome, made up of millions of microorganisms that live in the human digestive system, do more than just digest and absorb nutrients  — they may influence your mood, behavior and preferences. These “gut bugs”...

Dr. Jimmy Choi

How Researchers Can See Psychosis in Someone’s Eyes

The pupil – the dark circle in the center of the eye that flexes in size based on available light – performs a much different role in people with psychosis. “The pupils are a direct link to the brain. They give away what you’re doing, thinking and feeling. It’s a...


BHN’s Prominent Presence at National Council Conference

As the National Council for Behavioral Health held its annual conference in Nashville in late March, a Behavioral Health Network contingent was on hand, with several clinicians presenting research and observation as part of professional sessions throughout the four-day event. “Hartford HealthCare was well-represented at the conference by an enthusiastic...


Mass Shootings, Suicides Create Call for Action

In just a matter of days, two survivors of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting and the father of a first-grade girl killed in the Sandy Hook massacre committed suicide. While the actual shootings occurred more than six years apart, time has little to do with how someone is impacted by...