The DisposeRx Program

At-home medication disposal packets are only one part of the DisposeRx strategy to help decrease the risks of keeping unused medication in the home—diversion, overdoses, suicides, accidental poisonings and addictions. Research studies show patient education—when combined with a disposal tool—increases medication disposal rates.

As a result, DisposeRx supports community, government, pharmacy and industry partners in creating unique patient educational materials and campaigns. Since each organization is different, DisposeRx can customize staff training and patient education to meet your needs.

Key Research

Perelman School Researchers Find At-home Disposal Kits Increase Proper Opioid Disposal

Findings indicate that

providing patients with at-home disposal options
improves disposal rates.

At the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Lead Researcher Anish K. Agarwal, MD, MPH, realized that following surgery, many patients kept leftover medications in the home thereby increasing the risk of drug addiction and abuse. Agarwal wanted to determine whether or not sending patients a disposal kit could prompt them to properly dispose of the unused opioids. His team sent DisposeRx packets to over 200 patients and found that 62% more patients reported they properly disposed of their medications.

Key data points

Increased rate of disposal
Disposal rates of the intervention group were two times higher than the usual care group.
Study included patients over 19 years of age who were undergoing an orthopedic or urologic procedure and prescribed an opioid.

Read the Research study on JAMA Network Open, “Effect of Mailing an At-home Disposal Kit on Unused Opioid Disposal After Surgery – A Randomized Clinical Trial

Shriner’s for Children Researchers Find Distributing Packets and Education Boost Medication Disposal

Findings indicate that

providing patients with at-home disposal options with education improves disposal rates.

As part of an Opioid Stewardship Initiative, researchers at the Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena, CA, wanted to determine if giving medication disposal kits with prescriptions could reduce unused medications in the home. Researchers gave DisposeRx packets, an instructional flyer, and offered counseling to opioid prescription recipients and their parents/caregivers and then followed up by phone. As a result, 92% of the participants reported using the DisposeRx packet provided to dispose of leftover medications.

Key data points

(388) disposed of
Used DisposeRx for medication disposal

Read the Research study in the Journal of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, “Preventing Opioid Diversion and Abuse by Using an At-home Opioid Disposal Method: An Improvement Project in a Pediatric Outpatient Surgical Center

Disposal Packets and Education are Most Effective at Behavior Change

Findings indicate that

providing patients with at-home disposal options, instructions and follow-up
improves disposal rates
more than any other combination.

Researcher John M. Edwards III, DNAP, CRNA surveyed almost 300 articles about opioid and medical waste disposal and found eight to be applicable for his review. Of those, Edwards found all eight research studies indicate in-home opioid disposal systems provided by a healthcare facility produce proper medication disposal rates up to 71%.

Medication Disposal Rate with Intervention Methods

Packet and flyer
Handout and activated charcoal bag
Handout and different
charcoal bag
Education and mail-back envelopes
No education and
no disposal kit

Read the Research study on JAMA Network Open, “Effect of Mailing an At-home Disposal Kit on Unused Opioid Disposal After Surgery – A Randomized Clinical Trial

Patient education

Patient education is the other half of promoting proper medication disposal.

Feel free to explore some of the materials we have created for our partners, and share them as needed. If you have an idea for a campaign, please let us know!

By using any of the materials, you agree to the terms and conditions as outlined in the license agreement.

  1. Compared to control group.
  2. Includes cost of postage, flyer and packet.
  3. Kit included flyer and packet.
  4. Zhang DA, Luong M, Barragan E, Bushnell F, Cho R, Poon S. Disposal of unused opioids using an at-home disposal method. J Pediatr Soc North Am. 2021;3(1).
  5. Brummett CM, Steiger R, Englesbe M, et al. Effect of an activated charcoal bag on disposal of unused opioids after an outpatient surgical procedure: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Surg. 2019;154(6):558-561.
  6. Hite M, Dippre A, Heldreth A, et al. A multifaceted approach to opioid education, prescribing, and disposal for patients with breast cancer undergoing surgery. J Surg Res (Houst). 2021;257:597-604.v
  7. Voepel-Lewis T, Farley FA, Grant J, et al. Behavioral Intervention and Disposal of Leftover Opioids: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. 2020;145(1):e20191431.
  8. AdlerAC, Yamani AN, Sutton CD, Guffey DM, Chandrakantan A. Mail-back envelopes for retrieval of opioids after pediatric surgery. Pediatrics. 2020;145(3):e20192449.

Interested in adding DisposeRx packets to your inventory?

Reducing the risks associated with unused medications in the home is one way of helping to keep family members and friends safe. We are proud to partner with pharmacy and healthcare leaders, as well as community organizations, to help educate about the importance of prompt and proper medication disposal.

Please contact DisposeRx, Inc., if you would like additional information about our product or education initiatives.

DisposeRx, Inc - Medication disposal logo

Enter ‘Self’ if you are not affiliated with a group, company, or organization.

New Address

DisposeRx has moved! Our corporate office
address is now located at:


DisposeRx, Inc.
146 NW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387


Please update your address book. Thank you and remember to check your medicine cabinet and dispose of any unneeded or expired medications.

Pouring packet
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