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Research Letter
March 27, 2019

Effect of an Activated Charcoal Bag on Disposal of Unused Opioids After an Outpatient Surgical Procedure: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
  • 2Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Department of Surgery, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
  • 4Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 5University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. 2019;154(6):558-561. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.0155

Opioids are commonly prescribed for acute pain, yet most pills remain unused and undisposed.1 Current disposal options are limited to US Drug Enforcement Administration–authorized opioid collectors, including law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and organized pill-drop events; however, many patients remain unaware of them.2,3 We examined the effect of an activated charcoal bag that allows for in-home opioid disposal on the probability of disposal after a surgical procedure, compared with usual care or educational materials detailing disposal resources.

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