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New Year, Old Crisis: The Opioid Epidemic in 2019

The opioid crisis is still one of the most critical public health challenges of our time period. The death toll is still rising. An estimated 130 people are dying from opioid-related overdose every day.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a plan for dealing with the opioid crisis in 2019.

It has five key points:

  1. Better prevention, treatment and recovery services for addicts.
  2. Developing better methods for pain management.
  3. More quality research on pain and research on addiction.
  4. More attention on overdose-reversing drugs
  5. Get better, more accurate data on the scope of the opioid epidemic.

The Department has $10 billion allocated to put this five-point plan into action.

The Department of Justice Department of Justice is also implementing new and creative policies to fight the opioid scourge.

In 2019, they’re proposing to decrease manufacturing quotas for opioid production.

Time will tell if the quota will go through, as patients who are on opioids may strenuously object to policies that will limit their access to drugs they are currently taking for pain management. So we might see a plethora of petitions and fights over opioid policies this coming year.

The nation’s biggest drugmakers and distributors face a wave of civil lawsuits that could total tens of billions of dollars in damages.

Local governments are suing drug companies that manufacture opioids, distribute them, or sell them to patients. The coming year will see us through the big court fights. The litigation process is going to evolve over the next year. It will likely follow a similar pattern as the lawsuits against tobacco manufacturers. First, States will need to prove that opioids are harmful to patients, that the companies were unequivocally aware of the risks to users, and that the patients could not assume responsibility for the risks because the risks were concealed and patients and prescribers of the drug were not adequately informed of the risks by the manufacturers. Companies will likely be sued for the cost of healthcare and treatment for opioid addiction that the State incurred, or to help defray the cost of opening more addiction treatment centers in States that are desperately strapped for the necessary funds.

So far, the claims are that dozens of companies (manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies) made billions of dollars flooding the U.S. with prescription pain pills. On top of that, the claim accuses the companies of a concerted effort to mislead the public and physicians about the dangers of opioid medications. One example is Purdue Pharma, who created Oxycontin in the 1990s, marketed it aggressively, and advertised the following:

“In fact, the rate of addiction amongst pain patients who are treated by doctors is much less than one percent…” “These drugs should be used much more than they are for patients in pain.”

There are also smaller lawsuits pending against prescribing Doctors.

Boston U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has been sending letters to Doctors whose patients died opioid-related deaths within 60 days of being prescribed opioids.

They are reminders and warnings, he says, that his Department is keeping an eye out for ethical prescribing practices of potentially lethal substances.

There have been Doctors indicted for manslaughter over opioid-related deaths, and the coming year will probably see more Doctors in court for their lax prescription practices.

We will be following the various lawsuits.

The United States has been pushing for better regulation of fentanyl in China for years, without much luck.

Maybe 2019 will bring changes in China and their regulatory laws.

Who knows? Although, considering the huge amount of money China is making off fentanyl sales and distribution in China, they probably won’t be so quick to completely cut such a profitable industry.

Maybe in 2019 we’ll find out if that wall between the U.S. and Mexico will ever be finished.

The next 12 months might just redefine the way America thinks about and responds to the opioid epidemic that now claims more than 40,000 lives each year.

This coming year is going to bring more contention and more awareness around the subject of opioids than last year. It’s a trending topic. Government agencies, News reporting agencies, Law Enforcement Agencies, Schools and Community Organizations, are all going to address aspects of the opioid crisis over the coming year. We can all gear up and find a way to help. The opioid crisis is not going away anytime soon. Hopefully the coming year will also bring surprising initiatives and solutions that will drive down the opioid overdose death rates and the rate of overall prescription and addiction.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

 

needles and medicines at the home

How do I dispose of home generated medical waste?

Click here for a list of FREE approved locations to drop off home medical waste at, in California.

How do I dispose of home-generated medical waste?

Package It: Make sure to package your home sharps waste and needles in approved travel sized or medium sized or large sharps containers. This will allow the waste to be safely handled and transported for disposal . If you don’t yet have a sharps container, try packaging your sharps waste in a heavy duty plastic container, such as a laundry detergent bottle, for the meanwhile. Medicine waste can be packaged in a rigid container. Any printed information about the medicine or prescribed patient, should be erased or covered. 

Dispose Of It: Bring your home generated medical waste to your local California State approved collection site for free and proper disposal.  Remember, all sharps waste must be properly packaged.   For medicine waste, check which of the collection sites on the list indicate that they also accept medicines for disposal.

The not free free option: If you need a professional company to come collect and dispose of your medical waste, contact MedWaste Management at (866) 254-5105. We collect and dispose of all types of medical waste, from all types of facilities in California, such as healthcare facilities, schools, homes and businesses. Since this disposal option is not free, it is recommended for the disposal of large quantities of home generated medical waste, or anyone who wants to pay for this convenience.

What is home-generated medical waste? 

In Septemebr 2008, it became illegal in California to place your home-generated sharps waste in the regular trash container, or to flush it down the toilet.

  • Sharps Waste – Home-generated sharps waste means hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household. See California’s Medical Waste Management Act section 117671.
  • Medicine Waste – Home-generated medicine waste means expired or unused medicines, whether prescription or over the counter.

Browse For Local California County Info:

Alameda County:

Alameda County – Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps and medicine waste in Alameda County, CA.

Alameda County Medication Drop Off Sites – Find the 41 locations, where Alameda County residents can drop off unwanted prescription and Over-the-Counter drugs and medications, including controlled substances.

Alameda County Public Health Dept. –  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in Alameda County, CA.

CityofLivermore.net  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Livermore, CA.

StopWaste.org – Find out where to dispose of of sharps waste and medicine waste in the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Livermore and Oakland, in Alameda County, CA.

Alpine County:

Amador County:

Butte County:

Butte County –  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in Butte County, CA.

CityofOroville.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Oroville, CA.

Calaveras County:

Colusa County:

Countyof Colusa.org – Learn and see a video about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

Contra Costa County:

ContraCostacountyhealth.org – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

DeltaDiablo.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Delta Diablo District, in East Contra Costa County, CA.

PleasantHill.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Pleasant Hill, CA.

Del Norte County:

El Dorado County:

ElDoradoCountygov.us – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in El Dorado County, CA.

Fresno County:

Glenn County:

Humboldt County:

Imperial County:

Inyo County:

Kern County:

KernCountywaste.com – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Kern County, CA.

Kings County:

Lake County:

Lassen County:

Los Angeles County:

Azusa.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Azusa, CA.

AgouraHills.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Agoura Hills, CA.

Calrecycle.ca.gov – Find locations throughout California that will accept a variety of special wastes.

Calrecycle.ca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in California.

CityofBell.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Bell, CA.

Lakewoodcity.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Lakewood, CA.

dpwLAcounty.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Los Angeles County, CA.

MontereyPark.ca.govLearn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Monterey Park, CA.

Madera County:

Marin County:

MarinCounty.org  – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Marin County, CA.

Mariposa County:

Mendocino County:

Merced County:

Modoc County:

Mono County:

Monterey County:

Napa County:

CountyofNapa.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Napa County, CA.

Nevada County:

KeepTruckeeGreena.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Truckee, CA.

Orange County:

FountainValley.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in the city of Fountain Valley, CA.

LaHabracity.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of La Habra, CA.

Orangecounty.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

Orangecountyhealth.com – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

RanchoSantaMargarita.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

SanJuanCapistrano.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Placer County:

RecyclinginLincoln.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Lincoln, CA.

Plumas County:

CountyofPlumas –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste waste in Plumas County, CA.

Riverside County:

Coronaca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Corona, CA.

Riversidecounty.org –  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in Riverside County, CA.

CityofCommerce.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Commerce, CA.

Temeculaca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Temecula, CA.

Sacramento County:

CityofSacramento.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Sacramento, CA.

San Benito County:

San Bernardino County:

Adelentoca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Adelento, CA.

AppleValley.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the town of Apple Valley, CA.

CityofChino.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Chino, CA.

CityofCommerce.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Commerce, CA.

Fontana.org –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Fontana, CA.

SanBernardinoCounty.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medication waste in Los Angeles County, CA.

Victorville.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Los Angeles County, CA.

San Diego County:

Oceanside.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Oceanside, CA.

Poway.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medication waste in the city of Poway, CA.

CityofSanteeca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Santee, CA.

San Joaquin County:

Stocktongov.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in the city of Stockton, CA.

San Luis Obispo County:

SanLuisObispoCountyiwma.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in San Luis Obispo County, CA.

Santa Clara County:

MountainView.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in the city of Mountain View, CA.

San Diego County:

SanDiegocounty.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste in San Diego County, CA.

San Francisco County:

San Joaquin County:

San Luis Obispo County:

San Mateo:

SanMateoCountyhealth.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in San Mateo County, CA.

Santa Barbara County:

CountyofSantaBarbara.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Santa Barbara County, CA.

Santa Clara County:

SantaClara.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in Santa Clara County, CA.

SantaClaraFireDept.org – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in Santa Clara County, CA.

Santa Cruz County:

Shasta County:

Sierra County:

Siskiyou County:

Solano County:

Sonoma County:

RecycleNow.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Sonoma County, CA.

Stanislaus County:

Stanislauscounty.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Stanislaus County, CA.

Sutter County:

YubaSutterRecycles.com –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Sutter County, CA.

Tehama County:

Trinity County:

Tulare County:

Visalia.city – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Visalia, CA.

Tuolumne County:

Ventura County:

Simivalley.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Simi Valley, CA.

VenturaCountyrma.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Ventura County, CA.

VenturaCountypublicworks.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated pharmaceutical waste in Ventura County, CA.

Yolo County:

CityofDavis.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Davis, CA.

Yolocounty.org –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Sonoma County, CA.

Yuba County:

YubaSutterRecycles.com –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical in Yuba County, CA.

How can I accept home-generated medical waste at my health care facility or business?

If you have a medical facility or business that generated medical waste, and you already properly dispose of your medical waste, you can easily start accepting home-generated medical waste from your patients and community.

Just make sure of the following:

  • The sharps must be contained in an approved sharps container.
  • The generator of the home-generated sharps waste, or a member of his or her family, must bring the sharps waste to your facility.
  • The sharps waste is accepted at a central location at your facility.
  • You must properly dispose of the home-generated medical waste that you accept, just as your properly dispose of your facility’s medical waste.
  •  A reference to, and a description of, the above actions are
    included in your facility’s medical waste management plan.

See California’s Medical Waste Management Act Section 118147.

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

Medical Waste Products 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

Read your Medical Waste Disposal Contract!

indexBefore signing a contract with any vendor, for any service, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting what your business needs at a price that fits your business’s budget! Then, we suggest you look up the company with a few different search queries online and see what comes up. Also, always read the small print.

Here are a few details you may want to look out for:

  1. Hidden Fees.

Some medical waste disposal companies have provisions in their contracts stating that they can raise fees without notice. Usually, this provision is put in place to accommodate changes in fuel prices, insurance prices, or medical waste disposal/incineration prices. However, how can you prove what the price got raised for?? Once you signed the contract, and the company raises your rates, they don’t need to account for the reason in order to keep charging you.

Also, is the medical waste disposal company overcharging you for specific services? Get knowledgeable about the services they are providing for you and compare prices. Don’t let a company charge you for some bogus medical waste disposal practice that is not necessary or an unjustified expense.

  1. Time frame

How long is the contract for? Are you absolutely certain you want to be tied down to one vendor for the next five years? It would probably be wise to leave your options open and always keep your eyes out for the competition: Someone new who may be offering the same service at a lower price, or at the same price with less hassle, or some other factors that may work better for your business… keep the contract open to cover for any contingency.

Also, doe the medical waste disposal company auto-renew your contract without receiving another signature from you to approve? In some states, that would be legal.

  1. Contract Termination

What happens if you do wish to terminate the contract with the medical waste disposal company? Will you need to pay “liquidation damages” (or a contract termination fee by any other name?) If the service is lousy, how can you prove it? And will they sue you for the money if you decide to stop using the medical waste disposal company before your contract is over?

  1. Company Management

When you have a question or a complaint, who do you talk to? How many departments will you get transferred to? How quickly are issues resolved? Also, how many lawsuits has the company dealt with in the past couple of years, and what were they about? If you see a lot of bad reviews complaining that there was nobody to talk to when issues arose, you may want to consider hiring another medical waste disposal company where you can count on the staff to deal with problems should they arise.

We’ve tried to consider some of these points for you here at Medwaste Management. We’ve heard the horror stories about other companies, read the complaints, tried to figure out what makes our customer’s lives easier. We urge you to check out our terms and contact us with any questions or concerns you may have before signing up for medical waste disposal.

Some links to “Buyer Beware” stories circulating online:

http://thecuriousdentist.com/learn-from-my-experience-with-stericycle/#sthash.Hkg9j3BP.dpuf

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Stericycle/Lake-Forest-Illinois-60045/Stericycle-Deceptive-contract-practices-Outrageous-price-increases-Lake-Forest-Illinois-1064086

http://www.justanswer.com/law/2p0lv-stericycle-inc-clients-sign-multi-year-service.html#ixzz3yndBuz5o