Published by AAFP

The AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse, of which the AAFP is a member, has released a new resource(161 KB PDF) family physicians can use to promote safe use, storage and disposal of opioids and other medications.

  1. The two-page electronic document suggests a three-step process family physicians can use when talking about these issues with their patients:
  2. Educate them about safe use of prescription opioids, including ensuring that they are used only by the person for whom they are prescribed.
  3. Remind them that medications should be stored in a safe place out of reach of children.

Discuss with them the most appropriate way to dispose of expired, unwanted and unused medications.
Robert “Chuck” Rich, M.D., of Bladenboro, N.C., the AAFP’s representative on the AMA task force, told AAFP News the most common source of prescription opioids that are misused, particularly by adolescents and young adults, is the home medicine cabinet or other medication storage area.