10 June 2019

Part 3 - Healthy Living for Life - Opioid Addiction in America: Part 1

More than 100 people die every day from an opioid overdose. Regardless of region, race and education, opioid addiction doesn't discriminate. It can happen to ...

- Welcome back to Healthy Living for Life. We're still here with Lisa Sather talking

about opioids. So thanks for sticking around, Lisa. - Yes, of course. - [Beth] So what is the number one thing people can do to make sure that their medications don't get into the wrong hands? - Yes, that's a great topic I like to talk about. So it's really important to make sure that your medications are locked up. We're not talking about that for an antibiotic or something like this. We're talking about something that's a controlled substance and a narcotic that's used for pain, those kinds of things. You want to make sure they're locked up and that means in a drawer that has a lock, in a safe that has a lock, or if you're done taking that medicine, you don't need it anymore for a specific condition, you want to make sure it's discarded of properly. An important statistic I like to let people know about is that 70% of people get their medication from either a family member or a friend and it's usually for free. If we think about Michael's story from earlier too. So that's a good example of that. So keep 'em locked up appropriately. - [Beth] So if somebody doesn't have something to lock them up in, hide them? Can we just tuck them away somewhere so they won't be found? - No, still not a great idea, Beth. We want to make sure they're locked up and again, we want to make sure that they are discarded of and discarded of properly if they're done with them. - What if a person doesn't have children or teenagers like in Michael's case around? Is it still a good idea to lock up medications and if so, why? - It is. Here's a great example. I want to give you a personal story because I am obviously a pharmacist so I should know better. And I had had an injury and had some hydrocodone medication for that particular injury and hadn't yet discarded of it. And I was selling my house at the time and had my medications just in a drawer in the bathroom. And someone came through that open house I had on a certain day and helped themselves to going through a drawer when I wasn't in that room. And this is important because it really does happen in true life. I didn't think that that was something that would happen to me. I should have properly disposed of those pills. I wasn't using those. Even if somebody has somebody doing work on their house, things like that. So it does happen and we don't want those

kinds of medications getting into the wrong hands for sure. - So you mentioned proper disposal a couple times now. Let's dive into that a little bit. If somebody has left over medications or they've expired or whatever, what is the proper way to dispose of those? - Sure. So a couple of different things. We're lucky here now we have a lot of drug take back locations in our states since we've had such a huge problem with opioid overdose. So there are those locations listed. You can Google those and find out where those are at. If you don't have a drug take back location that is close to you, the proper way to dispose of most medications then is to take the medication out of the bottle, put it into an undesirable substance like kitty litter or used coffee grounds in a baggy and put that baggy in the trash. You then take your prescription bottle, darken out any of the writing on there and throw the bottle in the trash. Now, an exception to that is if you don't have a drug take back location, there are a few drugs that we absolutely don't want you to be handling or to be thrown in the trash. One of those, we talked about earlier and that's fentanyl. Fentanyl patches that are prescribed can be dangerous and so those are a product that has to actually be flushed down the toilet, but that's just a specific example. There are other medications that again, if you don't have a drug take back location need to be disposed of in the toilet. And your pharmacist can let you know that when you pick up prescriptions to make sure that we don't get those in the wrong hands because a very small dose can be lethal to a small child. - Okay. So for those folks who do find a take back location, what's the process there? Do you have to give information when you drop off your medications or how does that work? - Yeah, that's a great question. So no, it's a completely anonymous situation. You basically just go to that location, bring all of your medications, and they'll dispose of them. There's no questions asked. It's just a great service. There's just been literally tons of medications returned via drug take back days since that's been instituted. And I know Montana just hosted one here on April 27th so that's a good deal. - So you mentioned fentanyl being flushed down the toilet. It's okay to flush some medications down the toilet? - Yeah, that's a great question. So I think in the past, there may have been kind of some

misconceptions potentially that those kind of medications would end up in our drinking water. And while it's true that if we were doing that routinely with a lot of medications, that could potentially happen, the FDA has really determined that there are certain medications that the risk benefit is definitely thought of in advance. And the risk to not flushing something like fentanyl down the toilet is much greater than if we did that because the amount that actually would show up in a water system or whatnot is very minimal. Again, the majority of medications can be disposed of safely just in the trash like I mentioned earlier, but for that specific list, definitely has to be done that way. - So you would you recommend somebody take an inventory of their medications every now and then or when do you look for those medications that you should be getting rid of? - Yeah, that's a great question. I absolutely think that's a great idea for one thing to inventory your meds, go through your medicine cabinet. Make sure that if you have something that's a controlled substance that you've been prescribed for pain typically that you either dispose of it or have it locked up. Also, a good thing you can do if you do have a controlled substance is you can have a prescription log that you keep track of kind of a decreasing number of medication number of units that are in that every time you use it so you know how many are in there so you can keep track of it. But again, if it's locked up, you should be good to go there. If you're not using it, make sure you dispose of it. - [Beth] Okay, perfect. Lisa, thanks so much. Great information, good advice. - Absolutely. - I appreciate your time. I want to thank Michael also for sharing his powerful story. And thank you for tuning in this week. We hope you'll come back next week. In the meantime, stay fit, stay well, and stay healthy for live with Healthy Living for Life. Have a great week. - [Narrator] Healthy Living for Life is brought to you by Mountain-Pacific Quality Health. We'd love to hear from you. If you have suggestions for future programs, visit out website at MPQHF.org or call us at 406-443-4020. You can also catch us on YouTube by visiting our website and clicking on the YouTube icon. Special thanks to Fire Tower Coffee House and Roasters. Production facilities provided by Video Express Productions.