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Question of the Day

What simple and inexpensive techniques are available to deter opioid abuse?

Pill counts and lock boxes are ways to deter abuse. In pill counting, a patient is prescribed a 28-day supply so that the prescription will always end on the same day of the week. At the appointment, timed to occur a day or two before the pills are consumed, the patient should show the prescriber an appropriate number of remaining pills. This strategy should decrease pill hoarding and diversion. Lock boxes are simple security measures to ensure the patient’s controlled substances are not taken by someone else—and to decrease the likelihood that the patient will employ this excuse to explain a missing pill or prescription. -- Authored by R. Jason Yong, MD MBA, Mohammed A. Issa, MD, Chris Abrecht, MD, Ehren Nelson, MD