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A Shocking Number Of Parents Keep Their Kids’ Leftover Opioids

A new poll finds that nearly half of parents whose kids had been prescribed pain medications, kept leftover medicine in their home.

A young girl looks at a pile of pills that was left on a counter.

A young girl looks at a pile of pills that was left on a counter.

“Nearly one-third of the parents who participated in the poll reported that their children had been prescribed at least one pain medication, most often related to surgery, illness or injury. Of these prescriptions, 60 percent were for opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, according to the results from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.”

“We found that the amount of pain medication prescribed for children is frequently greater than the amount used, and too few parents recall clear direction from their provider about what to do with leftover medication,” Dr. Matthew Davis, a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Michigan and the director of the poll, said in a statement.”

“This is a missed opportunity to prevent prescription drug misuse among children,” Davis said. Indeed, “for adolescents, a known point of access to narcotic pain medication is leftover pills from a prior prescription,” he said. The poll suggests that doctors need to do a better job of explaining this risk to parents.” Read more.

 

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