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An Ecological Study of Drug Drop Box Donations in Appalachia
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Prescription drug abuse is a major public health problem in United States. Research showing 70% of nonmedical prescription drug users obtain drugs from friends and family has sparked discussion over disposal of unused or expired medications. Tennessee experienced a 250% increase in overdose deaths from 2001 to 2010. In response to this increase, permanent drug donation receptacles have been installed in multiple law enforcement offices across the state; however, the extent to which the public utilizes these receptacles is not well known. In partnership with Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement, drop box donations were analyzed in six Northeast Tennessee locations from June 2012 to October 2013. The objectives of this research were to: 1) quantify controlled substances (CS) donated, and 2) evaluate time lapse between dispensing date and donation across CS schedules as well as potency rankings for opioids. Over the 18-month collection period, 3,113.5 lbs. of pharmaceutical waste was donated; 5.14% or 160lbs were CS, totaling 65,430 individual doses. Analysis of dispensing dates for CS medications indicated a median of 34 months lapsed from dispensing to donation (range 1 to 484 months). Comparison of means between Schedule II and Schedule III/IV indicated that Schedule II drugs were donated within fewer months than Schedule III/IV drugs (t-test = -4.37, p-value <0.0001). These results quantify the potential impact of permanent drug donation boxes on the prevention of CS diversion in Northeast Tennessee. Further study is warranted to examine the effect of targeted public health messages on increasing CS donation.
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Describe the potential impact of permanent drug disposal boxes on prescription drug diversion prevention.
Assess the median number of months controlled prescription drugs spend in the home before disposal.
Analyze potential differences in average number of months spent in the home before disposal among controlled substance schedules categories I, II, and III.
Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse, Drug Abuse Prevention and Safety
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an undergraduate degree in statistics and a Master of Public Health in biostatistics. Currently I am in my second year of study in the Doctor of Public Health Epidemiology program at the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health. Prescription drug abuse/ misuse will be the focus of my dissertation work. With regard to the submitted abstract, I was lead on the organization and analysis of all data included in the research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.