Long-term care facilities will be one of several designated drop-off points for unused prescription drugs in a new effort aimed at reducing addiction and abuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration regulation was announced Monday by U.S. Attorney Eric Holder by a video message and news release. The regulation will allow long-term care facilities to “assist in the disposal of prescription controlled substances” of current and former residents. Pharmacies, hospitals and clinics will also act as “authorized collectors.”
Holder mentioned authorities collected 390 tons of prescription drugs during a take-back event in April. The drugs are destroyed to prevent them from falling into the hands of abusers or contaminating the environment.
Drug overdoses involving opioids have been particularly prominent and deadly in recent years, causing officials to seek stricter regulations for their use. However, long-term care providers have voiced a different concern, saying that restricting access could make pain management difficult.