Safe Disposal of Opioids Act Introduced

By: Stericycle

Last month, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced the Safe Disposal of Opioids Act to Congress. The act, also called House Resolution 3171, amends the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to create a grant program at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help qualified settings acquire and maintain drug disposal bins.

The act comes at a time when millions of Americans are misusing prescription drugs, with tens of thousands dying every year from causes related to opioid abuse. More than 75% of people who become dependent on opioids report they first started with pills they got from a friend or family member.

The emphasis of the new act is on placing medication collection bins in community pharmacies and other health care settings where patients also receive medication, as six in 10 patients prescribed opioid painkillers have leftover pills. The federal act has no restriction on the number of states that can participate, and it is not a pilot program. The Safe Disposal of Opioids Act is also the first federal bill to specify Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which requires drug manufacturers to fund the program based on the volume of drugs sold throughout the country.

If passed, this legislation would make drug disposal options more available and accessible across the nation. By helping families safely dispose of unused medications, communities can prevent drug diversion that may lead to substance abuse, substance use disorders and  overdose deaths.

Interested in offering drug take back programs to your community?

Stericycle Environmental Solutions’ drug take back collection kiosks and medication mail-back envelopes are safe, convenient and sustainable options for consumers to dispose of their unused and expired drugs. Click here to learn more about our consumer drug take back solutions.