Predictors of Safe Prescription Opioid Storage and Participation in Drug Take-Back Events: Results from a Statewide Survey

Michael J. Broman, Jennifer D. Ellis, Grant A. Victor, Rachel Kollin, Emily Pasman, Jamey J. Lister, Stella M. Resko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Improper storage and disposal of prescribed opioids can lead to diversion or accidental poisonings. Studies of emergency department and cancer patients suggest prescription opioids are rarely stored securely or disposed of when unneeded. Safe storage and disposal practices reduce risks for others living in or visiting a household. The purpose of this study is thus to examine prescription opioid storage and participation in drug take-back events among Michigan adults. Participants (N = 702) were recruited through social media advertisements to complete an online survey in July and August 2018. Logistic regression was used to examine correlates of safe storage and disposal. 8.4% (n = 59) of participants reported always keeping opioids locked; 29.8% (n = 209) reported attending a drug take-back event. Black participants and those who believed that illegal drug use was a serious problem had greater odds of locking opioids; participants with higher levels of education or who knew someone who used heroin or misused prescription opioids had lesser odds of locking opioids. Age and race were associated with take-back event participation. Findings identify factors associated with safe prescription opioid storage/disposal and indicate safe storage/disposal seldom occurs. Education and provision of safe storage equipment should be designed for diverse ages, races/ethnicities, and levels of education. Drug take-back events not hosted by law enforcement may have broader appeal, as may those led by Black or other people of color. Wider use of drug donation boxes may facilitate increased disposal among those who do not wish to or cannot attend take-back events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1000-1007
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Prescription opioid storage
  • Safe medication disposal
  • Safe medication storage
  • Take-back events


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