Stop Sharing Medication!

 

 

 

 

 

I read a tragic article in my local paper today. A young man pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and received a sentence of four to seven years. The article said he gave another woman a prescription opioid pill, and she died after drinking alcohol after taking the pill. He was prosecuted for her death.

The article went on to say that if a person gives or sells another person an opioid pill (or any other controlled substance) and that person dies as a result of ingesting that medication, involuntary manslaughter or second-degree murder can be charged.

People don’t realize it’s illegal to share their prescribed controlled substance medication with other people. The law says it doesn’t matter if you sell it or just give it to someone else…it’s illegal.

I can’t tell you how many times I have a patient test positive on a drug test, and they tell me they were offered a Xanax at a funeral, or a Vicodin for muscular pain from a relative.

This is not OK.

I’ve had people tell me that once they pay for and fill their medication, it should be theirs to do with what they want. That’s not true. It is a felony to give or sell that medication to anyone besides for whom it was prescribed.

So that old Lortab pill you have in your medicine chest…don’t be tempted to give it to your brother when he has a migraine. You don’t know what other medication he’s on, and you can’t know if it is safe for him. And if he dies, you could be charged with a felony, on top of the guilt you would feel for contributing to his death.

Numerous studies have also shown young people who develop opiod use disorder often get their first opioids from friends or relatives. Parents spend energy worrying about their children being approached by drug dealers, but it’s far more likely that the first opioids used by their children will be obtained from someone’s medicine cabinet.

This means it’s important to change cultural attitudes about sharing medication and saving medication.

 

 

Advertisements

2 responses to this post.

  1. there is a activated charcoal system for easily and effectively deactivating medication and making it disposable in the regular trash :
    http://deterrasystem.com/
    i have no financial interest in this but learned about it at the Opioid conference in Boston at the screening of the Wahlburg foundation film ” If Only…”
    A surgeon affiliate with a scrub tech whose son had died of an opioid overdose, made it his mission to dispense one of these bags with every post-surgical prescription . Everyone should mirror that practice.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Andrew Angelos on August 21, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Although I do agree with your point of view. I wonder how you feel about patients that share methadone or suboxone with others in the same groups at an otp.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: