Young and Braun Introduce Opioid Crisis Bill to Help Veterans Dispose of Unwanted Medication
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) of Indiana are introducing a bill to create a safe, anonymous, and continuously available way for veterans to easily dispose of unwanted medications: the VA Directly Returning Opioid Prescriptions, or DROP Act.
The bill, the Senate companion to Representative Jim Baird's (IN-04) House bill, would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure that certain medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs have physical locations for the disposal of con- trolled substances medications.
“The opioid epidemic continues to impact some of our most vulnerable in the veteran community,” said Senator Young. “The DROP Act will ensure veterans have access to a way to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or unwanted medications. As Congress works with our state and local partners to address the opioid crisis, this bill will help prevent opioids from being abused or ending up in the wrong hands.”
"While the COVID-19 pandemic is at the front of all of our minds, we cannot forget about other crises that continue to ravage our country, such as the opioid abuse and the veterans who are seven times more likely to suffer from an opioid use disorder," said Senator Mike Braun. "This bill makes it easier for veterans to dispose of unneeded medications, and thus helps reduce risk of opioid abuse."
- This legislation creates a safe, anonymous, and continuously available way for veterans to easily dispose of unwanted medications.
- A pilot program was conducted at Roudebush VAMC and resulted in the turn in of over 450 lb of medications over a six month period.
- Nearly 50% of veterans suffer from chronic pain and half of those have received at least one prescription for opioids.
- VA Patients are seven times more likely to suffer from an opioid use disorder compared to the general population.
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