The Secure And Responsible Drug Disposal Act Of 2010: How Effective Has It Been In Preventing Pediatric Deaths
Daniel Cheng, *Michael Scheidler
University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine, Las Vegas, NV
Background. Over 120 pediatric (<18 years) deaths occur annually in the United States (US) from opioids. In 2010, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act was constituted, and in 2011 Clark County (CC) installed drug disposal drop-off boxes (DDDB) to remove unused medications from circulation. The effectiveness of these boxes in preventing pediatric deaths is unknown. Our aim is to study the effects of the DDDB program.
Methods. The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed in CC per 100 persons was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control for 2006-2017. We identified pediatric deaths caused by prescription medications between 2004-2017 from the CC coroner's office. US Census information was utilized to calculate the annual death rate per 100,000 pediatric population. Utilizing independent samples t-test, we compared average opioid prescriptions and average death rates before and after 2011.
Results. There was no statistical difference in the average number of opioid prescriptions before and after 2011. From 2004-2010, 41 pediatric deaths occurred; the average death rate was 1.27. From 2011-2017, 28 pediatric deaths occurred; the average death rate was 0.77. The average death rate after 2011 was significantly lower than before 2011 (p=0.02).
Conclusions. Since the initiation of drug drop-off programs, the average number of opioid prescriptions has not changed, but pediatric death rates have significantly decreased. Increased awareness to drop-off programs may be vital to combating this issue.
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