Family Physicians Remind Patients to Guard Children from Accidental Overdose
There are few things more frightening than the tragedy that can occur when a child ingests a medication not intended for them. It’s even more tragic when a child dies or is hospitalized for an emergency that could have easily been prevented. Yet it happens more often than one might think, and the problem is getting worse. When prescribing opioids as a last resort, AAFP President Dr. John Cullen advises patients about safe storage of opioid medication to prevent accidental ingestion.
The abuse of opioids is a significant public safety concern. Teenagers and young adults most commonly get these medicines from their own medicine cabinets, where another family member has stored them. The AAFP provides guidance for patients on safely using, storing and disposing of prescription opioid medication at familydoctor.org: https://familydoctor.org/safe-use-storage-and-disposal-of-opioid-drugs/
For information about opioids and symptoms of opioid addiction, visit familydoctor.org: https://familydoctor.org/condition/opioid-addiction/
Information from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control offers guidance for patients to help prevent opioid misuse: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/patients/prevent-misuse.html
Resources for Safe Disposal of Unused Medication
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provide information for patients who have unused medication and want to learn more about how to safely dispose of it. For example, the DEA sponsors a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. In addition, the FDA offers guidance on the safe disposal of medicines and where and how to dispose of unused medicines.
Watch this familydoctor.org public service announcement to learn more about opioid misuse and safe medication storage.