Dissemination of low-cost patient education brochures improved disposal of unused opioids after surgery, this study finds.
The study involved 334 patients−164 who did not receive the brochure and 170 who did receive it.
Patients who received the brochure informing them of appropriate methods for disposal were twice as likely to throw out leftover pain medication (22% vs 11%).
The researchers hope their findings will encourage widespread use of a similar intervention in surgery clinics around the country and decrease the amount of excess opioids circulating in communities.
Our country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Although the problem is multifactorial,
one issue is the presence of excess prescription opioid medications circulating in
our communities. Our objective was to determine whether dissemination of an educational
brochure would improve the disposal of unused opioids after surgery.