Unfortunately, many patients become unknowing conduits to illicit use of prescription drugs, consequent addiction, and sometimes even death. They receive an appropriate prescription for, say, an opioid pain medication that they take responsibly for as long as necessary. Then they put the remaining pills back in the medicine cabinet, where anyone in the house can get hold of them and take them recreationally or to feed an addiction. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration created the DEA National Rx Takeback program to promote safe return and destruction of excess medications. Hazlet Urgent Care in New Jersey and Northwestern Medicine Convenient Care in Illinois were two of the dropoff points on a recent Saturday, opening their doors for community members to bring in unused and potentially dangerous drugs. Doing so gave those citizens a sense of safety and the satisfaction of doing the right thing—with the aid of their local urgent care operator. While they were on site, of course, they were also introduced to friendly staff and had a chance to see signage explaining the range of services the clinic offers. Surely more than one of those patients will remember that day and come back when they need same-day care. You can learn more about the DEA program at www.deatakeback.com. But also consider other simple, low-cost ways you can show your community that you care about their wellbeing even when they’re not paying you for anything. You’ll engender goodwill, make a great first impression, and gain the appreciation of people who might just become long-term customers (and cheerleaders).
Sometimes It’s Not Prescribing, but Taking Away Medications That Saves a Life