Did you know that the opioid epidemic is at an all-time high in The United States?According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 115 people die every day from an opioid overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. Now, in a world where more and more people are becoming addicted to opioids, the American mega-chains Walmart and Sam’s Club are setting out to make an impact in combatting the problem.
A Free Opioid Disposal Solution – DisposeRX
DisposeRX, a free opioid disposal solution, is now readily and widely available nationwide, at any Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy. The DisposeRX solution is capable of easily disposing old, unwanted or expired medications. In households across the country, one could often find various medications that are no longer needed or wanted in medicine cabinets.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, more than 65 percent of people misusing prescription opioids are getting them from family and friends, and personal prescriptions are one of the main sources of non-medical opioid abuse.
The elimination of opioids, when no longer needed, can help decrease or entirely eliminate chances of misuse or abuse by those who may suffer from an opioid addiction.
“The health and safety of our patients is a critical priority; that’s why we’re taking an active role in fighting our nation’s opioid issue – an issue that has affected so many families and communities across America,” said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Consumables and Health and Wellness at Walmart U.S. “While this issue requires many resources to solve, we are confident this unique, easy-to-use disposal solution, DisposeRx, will make a meaningful impact on the lives of many. Walmart is incredibly proud to fund this initiative that provides our patients with an opioid disposal solution they can access nationwide, at no cost.”
How does DisposeRX work?
DisposeRX is an easy-to-use, effective solution in getting rid of unwanted opioids. By simply entering any Walmart of Sam’s Club, and asking a pharmacist, you can get your hands on a DisposeRX kit. Each kit comes with one vial along with the disposal solution.
The process is safe, simple and easy. Learn how to easily use the disposal system, below.
Step 1: Place any unwanted medications into the DisposeRX vial.
Step 2: After putting the unwanted medications in the vial, fill the vial with warm tap water, and pour in the DisposeRX Solution.
Step 3: Shake the contents of the bottle for 30 seconds. The contents inside the vial will turn into a biodegradeable, viscous gel that renders the medications unavailable and unusable.
After use, the vials are safe to toss into the trash. DisposeRx packets work with all medications whether pills, powder, tablets, capsules or liquids. DisposeRX is available, for free, at any Walmart of Sam’s Club pharmacy, when asking a pharmacy tech.
Walmart and Sam’s Club Are Taking Further Action to Prevent Misuse and Abuse of Opioid Prescriptions
Along with the new, easy DisposeRX solution, Walmart and Sam’s Club are also implementing further measures to curb the misuse and abuse of opioid perscriptions.
- In the summer of 2018, the corporation announced that they will now restrict initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply, with up to a 50 morphine milligram equivalent maximum per day. This new policy is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for preventing opioid abuse nationwide.
- Walmart and Sam’s Club are also committing to providing additional training and education on opioid stewardship for its pharmacists, across the nation.
- On January 1st, 2020, Walmart and Sam’s Club will officially require e-prescriptions for controlled substances. If you are unfamiliar with E-prescriptions, they are much are less likely to be prone to copying, altering or error.
- In states that allow access, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists will have access to and use the controlled substance tracking tool, NarxCare. NarxCare is a tool that has the ability to help pharmacists make dispensing decisions and provides pharmacists with the real-time interstate visibility that currently exists.
- The two megachains have also declared their commitment to the opioid reversal medication known as naloxone. Naloxone is a medication that blocks opiate receptions in the nervous system, allowing a person to reverse the effects of an opioid they’ve taken. Both Walmart and Sam’s Club aim to have the medication behind-the-counter, of every location, where allowed by state law. Along with providing that the naloxone is available, the two companies are also reinforcing that its pharmacists provide naloxone recommendations for patients who might be at risk for overdose.
“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Health & Wellness and Consumables, Walmart U.S. “We are proud to implement these policies and initiatives as we work to create solutions that address this critical issue facing the patients and communities we serve.”