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Research Letter |

Medication Sharing, Storage, and Disposal Practices for Opioid Medications Among US Adults

Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, PhD1,2; Andrea Gielen, ScD1,3,4; Eileen McDonald, MS3,4; Emma E. McGinty, PhD, MS1,2,4,5; Wendy Shields, MPH1,4; Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP1,2,5
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
2Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
3Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
4Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
5Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(7):1027-1029. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2543.
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This study examines the sharing, storage, and disposal of opioid medications by adults as well as the sources of information on those practices.

The prescription opioid epidemic continues with few signs of abatement.1 Most adolescents and adults reporting recent nonmedical use of opioid medications obtain these medications through their family or friends.2 Minimal research has examined knowledge and practices related to opioid medication sharing, storage, and disposal among US adults who recently received prescriptions for these medications despite this group serving as a source for individuals using opioid medications for nonmedical purposes. We conducted a national survey among US adults with recent opioid medication use to examine the pervasiveness of sharing opioid medications, medication storage and disposal practices, and the sources of information received.

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