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State announces new opioid disposal program to curb epidemic

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2019 @ 3:53 PM


            Statewide, drug distributors sent an average of 42 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills for every Ohioan each year from 2006 through 2012. File
Statewide, drug distributors sent an average of 42 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills for every Ohioan each year from 2006 through 2012. File

Every pharmacy in Ohio will soon offer bags that destroy drugs when filling an injured worker’s first opioid prescription.

The measure, which begins Nov. 1, intends to prevent addiction in situations where an injured worker is prescribed opioids as part of an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation claim.

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Injured workers who receive their first opioid prescription within the past 12 months will be given a drug disposal bag when filling their prescription at a retail pharmacy, according to a statement from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office. The bags destroy the opioids in a chemical process, making them unusable for legitimate or recreational use.

“Newly injured workers don’t always need every opioid pill in their prescription, and this new effort will simplify the process for safely disposing these dangerous drugs,” DeWine said. “By giving these drug disposal bags to injured workers at the time they fill a prescription, we can not only educate them about the dangers of opioid addiction, but also reduce the risk that unused pills will end up where they shouldn’t – in the hands of children for example.”

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BWC will cover the full cost of the disposal bags, which are limited to opioid prescriptions, and they will be available at every retail pharmacy in Ohio.

“We need every tool available to resolve the opioid and substance epidemic in this state, and it’s my hope these bags will move us closer to that goal,” BWC administrator Stephanie McCloud said.

The new program is part of DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative to coordinate and improve prevention efforts, increase access to treatment and support proven recovery supports in the state.

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