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Poll finds many parents do not dispose of opioid drugs

May 16, 2016

A new poll finds many parents fail to keep track of their children’s pain medicines.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health surveyed more than a thousand parents about what they do with their child’s old pain medicines.  Most said they keep it at home.

Fifteen percent of parents polled said they either don’t know where the meds are or gave them to other family members.

That worries Sarah Clark, co-director of the poll. She says opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone should not stay in the home when they are no longer needed.

“We certainty need greater attention to this on the part of providers,” says Clark. “We need greater understanding and importance on this on the part of parents.”

The state database that tracks prescriptions of powerful painkillers may be on track for an overhaul amid a national addiction epidemic.

The House approved a bill last Thursday to spend about $2.5 million to revamp the system. It's among the recommendations from a task force that worked on responses to opioid addiction.

State figures show the number of opioid-related deaths has tripled since 1999.

Republican Rep. Anthony Forlini says doctors don't have good information. He says it can lead to new prescriptions for people who already have plenty.

The bill also could make it easier for family members to get overdose rescue drugs. It now goes to the Senate.