John Maszinski
Office: 312-580-6440
Emptying Your Medicine Cabinet Can Help Curb Opioid & Heroin Epidemics
Doctors urge patients to dispose of unused medications that are often the source of abuse

Chicago, IL - The Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) is calling on everyone to empty medicine cabinets of old and unused prescription medications that used wrongly can become "gateway drugs" that lead to addiction. It is critically important to dispose of opioid medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, that misused can be strong links to opioid abuse and heroin use.

"Physicians are very engaged in efforts to curb the overprescribing of opioid medications," said ISMS President Thomas Anderson, MD. "At the same time," he added, "patients must also do their part to make sure their prescribed medications don't fall into the wrong hands."

"It's important to dispose of drugs properly," Dr. Anderson warned. "In only the rarest circumstance should they be flushed in the toilet or tossed in the trash."

In October, ISMS is promoting safe medication disposal by mailing promotional kits to more than 11,000 Illinois doctors. The kits feature critical information for doctors and patients, including details about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day; this event, sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, will next be held on October 22 . At its last Take-Back day in April, Illinois was one of the top five states in the nation, turning in 24 tons of unused medications.

Electronic copies of the ISMS Take-Back kit are available to anyone at .


Founded in 1840, ISMS is a professional membership association representing Illinois physicians in all medical specialties, and their patients, statewide. Dr. Anderson practices radiology in Chicago.

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