Prescription disposal practices: A 2-year ecological study of drug drop box donations in appalachia

Jeffrey Gray, Nicholas Hagemeier, Billy Brooks, Arsham Alamian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We quantified controlled substance donations via permanent drug donation boxes over 2 years in a region with high prescription abuse, assessing medication characteristics, time between dispensing and donation, and weight of medications donated per capita. Methods. In partnership with Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement, we analyzed permanent drug donation box collections in 8 Northeast Tennessee locations from June 2012 to April 2014. We recorded controlled substance dosage units along with the product dispensing date. Results. We collected 4841 pounds of pharmaceutical waste, 4.9% (238.5 pounds) of which were controlled substances, totaling 106 464 controlled substance doses. Analysis of dispensing dates for controlled substances indicated a median of 34 months lapsed from dispensing to donation (range = 1-484 months). The mean controlled substance donation rate was 1.39 pounds per 1000 residents. Communities with fewer than 10 000 residents had a statistically higher controlled substance donation rate (P = .002) compared with communities with 10 000 or more residents. Conclusions. Permanent drug donation boxes can be an effective mechanism to remove controlled substances from community settings. Rural and urban community residents should be provided convenient and timely access to drug disposal options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e89-e94
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume105
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Prescription disposal practices: A 2-year ecological study of drug drop box donations in appalachia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this