A New Report: Physician Perspectives and Insights on the Evolving Drug Crisis in America

In a first-of-its kind survey included in a new report by Quest Diagnostics, 500 U.S. primary care physicians were asked questions about prescribing controlled substances, such as opioids, amphetamines and benzodiazepines to their patients. The survey found that 72% of primary care physicians trusted their patients to take their controlled medications as prescribed when in fact 51% of patients who were prescribed opioids or other controlled medications showed signs of misuse, including drug mixing.

The report findings underline the need to continue to educate prescribers about safe-prescribing methods and to encourage patients to ask questions about proper use and disposal of any unwanted, expired or unused medication to prevent access to these highly addictive substances.

As a reminder, the 11th Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC-NJ) is coming up this Saturday, and I encourage you to complete these five simple steps to protect your friends and family.

1. Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.

2. Secure your medicine chest.

3. Safely dispose of your unused, unwanted and expired medicine.

4. Do not share the medicine prescribed to you.

5. Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

The American Medicine Chest Challenge is the home of the national registry of permanent collection sites where people can safely dispose of their unwanted, expired and unused medicine. There currently are nearly 2,000 permanent disposal sites in 46 states, 225 of which are located in New Jersey.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey created the American Medicine Chest Challenge in 2009 with support from The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the American College of Emergency Room Physicians and Covanta Energy. The American Medicine Chest Challenge stemmed from the success of Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey, a collaborative effort by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, the DEA’s New Jersey Division and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. During its first year, it received recognition from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as best practice and was later designated research-based.

For more information on how to dispose of your medicine throughout the year at a permanent collection site near you, visit www.AmericanMedicineChest.com. You can also follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DrugFreeNJ for a review of each step every day until the American Medicine Chest Challenge Day this Saturday. 


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