It’s a new plan of attack in the battle against opioids. And you don’t have to go far or to any trouble to join in. That’s because it comes from a hospital right here in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
As part of its efforts to stem the tide of opioid addiction, Methodist Dallas Medical Center (MDMC) recently launched a drug “take back” program. It enables people to dispose of unused meds on a simple and convenient basis. To do so, all they have to do is use the special secure boxes the facility installed in two spots on the campus. One location is in the emergency room. The other is in the retail pharmacy in the main lobby. Since the ER operates 24/7, the clearly labeled “take back” box is available there every day around the clock.
The Strategy Behind Drug Take Back Programs
Here’s how it works. People deposit drugs into the boxes anonymously and free of charge. The bright green, clearly labeled receptacles are easy to spot and use. There are no forms to fill out and no questions asked.
According to a press release issued by the facility, MDMC is the first in the area to go this route. The “take back” program is part of a system-wide initiative of Methodist Health to help individuals struggling with opioid addiction. The information promoted the no-cost aspect of this program. By way of comparison, it noted that retail pharmacies tend charge people for bringing in medications for disposal. Again, at MDMC it’s free.
The announcement included a quote from the Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Methodist Health System. He explained: “With national concerns regarding the opiate crisis and the potential for harm or overdose from other medications, Methodist feels this is an important resource for our community.”
In the coming months, Methodist Medical System intends to expand the “take back” program. The plan is to install similar boxes at Methodist Charlton, Methodist Mansfield, and Methodist Richardson.
FDA Guidelines Made Good
“Take back” is right in line with recommendations coming from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); that’s the federal agency charged with protecting and promoting public health. In April, the FDA launched its “Remove the Risk” campaign. This public educational program seeks to raise awareness about how to discard unused opioid medicines.
What is the rationale for “Remove the Risk?” The idea is to get these drugs out of homes to reduce exposure to opioids and the incidence of new addiction. The deputy commissioner of the FDA weighed in on it. “We know that many people who misuse prescription opioids report getting them from a friend or family member. If every household removed prescription opioids once they’re no longer medically needed for their prescribed purpose it would have a major impact on the opioid crisis’ hold on American families and communities.”
To “Remove the Risk,” what is the FDA’s preferred method? “Take back” tops the list for unneeded drugs, including opioids. As for preferred locations, they include hospital or clinic pharmacies, retail pharmacies and law enforcement facilities. And to get these programs up and running, authorized collection sites would provide drop boxes for safe disposal as well as mail-back programs.
Best Route to Recovery
Fighting the opioid epidemic takes place on many fronts. However, there’s a reason that so many people turn to treatment at a medically-oriented, licensed facility. That’s where they achieve the most effective results. In Dallas, Greenhouse Treatment Center is such a place.
This former luxury spa retreat now serves as a residential treatment facility. Adult men and women struggling with substance abuse receive the help they seek in beautiful surroundings. They work with a multidisciplinary team of highly trained professionals. And they engage in a continuum of research-based activities. Every touchpoint focuses on one thing – their needs.
Greenhouse bears the seal of approval from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). All clients who enter treatment here receive a guarantee. Those who successfully complete our 90-day treatment program will stay clean and sober. Otherwise, they may come back for a complimentary 30 days of treatment. Visit our online admissions page to start the recovery process.