Most Americans believe at-home, ecofriendly medication disposal methods reduce risk of child poisonings, opioid misuse and environmental pollution
SANFORD, NC, April 17, 2019—DisposeRx, a drug disposal company committed to eradicating the misuse of unused medications through its innovative at-home, site-of-use technology, released the results of a survey of Americans’ knowledge, feelings and habits concerning leftover drugs in their homes. The survey found:
80% of respondents “always” or “sometimes” dispose of medications at home, but these methods often include flushing or pouring medications down the drain
- 65% said they are “very” or “extremely” concerned about leftover medications in their home, after hearing facts about the associated risks
- 72% recognize the need for easy-to-use and effective disposal options in their homes for unused medications.
The independent consumer survey, conducted by research firm Brightline Strategies and sponsored by DisposeRx, polled 1,700 adults across the United States, 700 of whom had been prescribed an opioid in the past two years.
Concerns grow after facts are revealed
The percentage of respondents who are “very” or “extremely” concerned about the risks of unused medications in the home grew from 48% to 65% after learning the following facts:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 60,000 children under the age of 5 years arrive in emergency rooms annually due to poisoning from unsecured medications.
- 87% of water samples studied by the U.S. Geological Survey contained measurable amounts of
- 25 medications.
- 70% of people with prescription drug substance abuse disorders acquired their drugs by taking them from friends or relatives without their permission.
The risks of unused medications in the home that generated the most concern were child poisonings at 68%, followed by water pollution (61%) and opioid abuse (58%).
“These results demonstrate that many Americans realize there is a leftover prescription problem in this country, but not enough understand the far-reaching repercussions of retaining leftover medications in their medicine cabinet,” said William Simpson, president of DisposeRx. “Through our ongoing education efforts, we look to empower more individuals to make their environments safer by giving them a quick, convenient and cost-effective way to eradicate all leftover medications from the home in a timely manner.”
Disposal challenges and concerns
The majority of survey respondents—62%—said that they save their unused medications in case of a recurrence of a medical issue, while 51% hold on to their leftover prescriptions to save money. Similarly, 49% of respondents save medication to save the time and hassle of returning to their doctor or a pharmacy, and 37% of respondents with a leftover medication said they saved it in case a friend or family member needed it.
Although 70% of respondents said they were at least “somewhat likely” to use drug-disposal kiosks located in pharmacies and participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) biannual Take- Back Day (with the next one occurring on April 27), only 30% said they believe those options are enough to solve the child poisoning, environmental and opioid problems.
At-home solution needed
While recognizing that the misuse of unused medications is a major problem, 72% of respondents said they believe there is a need for an easy and effective at-home medication disposal solution. Seventy-one percent said they were at least “somewhat likely” to use such a solution, and 62% would use a disposal product if offered free with prescriptions.
“Historically, American consumers have been stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to disposing of leftover medications,” Simpson said. “Either they store them and put their families and communities at risk, or potentially pollute water supplies by flushing or pouring the drugs down the drain. From these survey results, we now know that with the right education and an effective disposal solution targeted at the site of the problem—the home medicine cabinet—we can help protect consumers, families and communities from the risks associated with leftover medication.”
About DisposeRx Packets
DisposeRx packets contain a blend of proprietary solidifying materials that provide an at-home, site-of- use solution for the neutralization and ecofriendly disposal of unused medications. When water and the DisposeRx powder are added to drugs in a prescription vial and shaken, the drugs are chemically and physically sequestered in a viscous polymer gel. DisposeRx is made of materials that are FDA approved for oral medications. For more information and to order DisposeRx packets, please visit our website at: Disposerx.com