Posted June 29, 2013 by Sean Blackmore in Hot Topics

Preventing medication fraud and abuse starts at home

Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions across the United States. Far more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs and significantly of the abuse begins at property, according to a national survey on drug use and health. In fact, much more than 70 percent of those who illegally use prescription discomfort relievers obtained them via buddies or household, which includes surreptitiously raiding the residence medicine cabinet. Even so, a recent study revealed that only 19 percent of parents are concerned about the misuse of narcotic pain medicines in their own families, showing that several do not recognize the severity of the problem.

The most frequently abused prescription drugs are opioids or narcotic pain medicines. When utilised along with other prescription drugs like benzodiazepines and muscle relaxers, they deliver a cocaine-like high. Abuse accounts for 84 percent of patient-connected prescription drug fraud, according to analysis by Express Scripts, the nation&rsquos biggest pharmacy benefit manager.

&ldquoNarcotic pain killers can be crucial in the treatment of a variety of critical healthcare situations unfortunately they can also ruin lives when utilized improperly or abused,&rdquo says Jo-Ellen Abou Nader, senior director of Express Scripts&rsquo Fraud, Waste and Abuse plan. &ldquoEnding the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse demands continuous vigilance and this contains appropriate storage and disposal of these medications.&rdquo

Abou Nader offers some easy do&rsquos and don&rsquots you can stick to at house to decrease the threat of drug fraud and abuse:


* Maintain drugs out of attain: Be certain to store your drugs in a locked location out of young children&rsquos reach. Ask your pharmacist if they can offer medication bottles with kid-resistant caps.

* Keep track of your treatments: Maintain a list of the medications in your residence, specially these prone to abuse. Periodically count the drugs remaining in the container and make sure that it&rsquos the right quantity according to the prescribed dosage.

* Dispose properly: If specific disposal guidelines are offered on the label, comply with them. Otherwise, get rid of the medication from their original containers or vials, mix them with an undesirable substance such as utilized coffee grounds, kitty litter or saw dust and place them in a sealable bag that can be disposed in the trash. Also, folks must take advantage of the subsequent DEA Drug Take-Back Day on April 27.


* Make it easy: Don&rsquot store narcotics or potentially addictive drugs in a medicine cabinet. If that is the only option, add a lock to the cabinet and hide the crucial.

* Save for subsequent time: After your condition has been treated and your prescription regimen comprehensive, appropriately dispose of the drugs. By no means keep added medication for possible use in the future.

* Share your medicine: The certain drug and dosage was chosen especially for the person it was prescribed for and could lead to unsafe drug interactions and severe side effects if utilised by an individual else.

By following these basic actions you can assist safeguard your household and close friends against the nation&rsquos pricey difficulty of prescription drug fraud and abuse. For much more sources and data about prescription fraud and abuse, visit Express Scripts&rsquo Healthcare Insights weblog at lab.express-scripts.com.

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Sean Blackmore