Opioids can be the source of problems in the home. The patient and family should be instructed to handle, store and dispose of them carefully.


(1) storage

(2) diversion

(3) disposal


Opioids should be carefully stored in the home:

(1) Opioids are best kept in a locked cabinet or other secure area.

(2) Small children and pets are at risk if the opioids are readily accessible.


Opioids in the home may be diverted in certain circumstances:

(1) A patient known to take large doses of opioids may be targeted for home invasion.

(2) Family members may steal the opioids for personal use or sale.


Expired opioids or opioids no longer required should be carefully disposed of.

(1) The opioids may be dropped off a drug collection site in the community.

(2) The opioids may be placed in a drug deactivation kit and disposed according to the product instructions.

(3) Drug containers should be checked periodically for their expiration date.

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