To determine the impact of a drug deactivation system to post-surgical patients on the rate of opioid prescription disposal.
Two hundred post-operative patients discharged after inpatient surgery at a large academic medical center. This study was conducted August 20, 2018, through November 30, 2018. Patients were provided with a drug deactivation system (DDS) and instruction sheet along with their opioid prescription. Three to 4 weeks after dismissal, patients were surveyed about quantity of opioids remaining, use of DDS or other disposal methods, and satisfaction with DDS if used.
One hundred forty-nine of 200 (74.5%) patients were surveyed. One hundred six reported leftover opioids and 29 (27.3%) had disposed of these medications. By the time of survey, 23 (21.2%) participants with leftover opioids had used the DDS to destroy their remaining supply and an additional 33 (31.1%) participants reported plans to use the disposal bag on a future date. Of the 23 participants who used the DDS, 22 (96.0%) reported that they were very satisfied with the disposal process.
Participants are willing to use a DDS and are satisfied with the process; however, additional education is needed to ensure timely disposal.

© 2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc.