Tips for Safe Storage and Disposal of Unneeded Opioid Medication

Written by on 4/5/2017 2:00 AM in , . It has 1 Comments.

Opioids, powerful pain relievers that block pain signals in the brain, are commonly prescribed for suffering workcomp insurance pain patients. Unfortunately they present a huge addiction risk, can be deadly in even moderate amounts, and are widely abused, representing a significant family and public safety concern. Proper storage and disposal of these medications is essential.

Safe Storage
Safely store opioids by keeping them in their original packaging, and storing them in a lockbox or locked cabinet that is not easily accessible. Record each dose to carefully track amounts. If someone steals your medication, contact the police immediately and file a report.

Safe Disposal

Community Take-Back Programs
The DEA sponsors national take-back days, which are listed on their website, as well as safe disposal information for drugs. Your local waste management department or city or county office may also offer take-back programs within your community.

Because opioid pain patches can be deadly to children, pets, and those with low opioid tolerances, the FDA always recommends the immediate flushing of leftovers. Simply fold in half and flush. Pill forms also come with flushing recommendations to prevent unintentional or illegal consumption, however not all communities support flushing.

Trash Disposal (Where Flushing is Not Allowed)
For those communities that frown on flushing, leave medicine in its original container and remove all personal information from prescription bottles. Add water to solid pills, then another unpalatable substance (coffee grounds, kitty litter . . .), capping and sealing with duct tape and further placing the bottles in a second, unmarked container.


Help your workcomp insurance patients protect their families and community. Post these safe disposal tips from Minnesota Comp Advisor in your workplace today.


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