Controlled Substance Disposal in Hospitals and the Opioid Crisis

March 23, 2022 | Drug Diversion Prevention

The opioid crisis is an epidemic in the United States with an estimated 130 people dying every day due to an opioid overdose.  The economic burden of this national emergency is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cost a whopping $78.5 billion annually. This astronomical figure includes the treatment for addiction, healthcare costs, criminal justice proceedings and lost productivity.  Maintaining a proper method of controlled substance disposal in hospitals, long term care facilities, pharmacies and various health care settings is critical to prevent drug diversion of controlled substances and lower the overall cost diversion has on our society.

Drug diversion involves the misuse of prescription medication by patients and healthcare workers and puts multiple people and organizations at risk.

Healthcare workers may have difficulty believing their colleagues may be involved in drug diversion. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, approximately 15% of healthcare workers will struggle with drug dependence at some point in their careers, and it’s the addiction that drives diversion in this population. Although nurses have similar rates of addiction and substance abuse compared to the general population, they have easier access to controlled substances contributes to more regularity of diversion.

Hospitals must educate, train and monitor staff to follow strict controlled substance disposal methods which are compliant to all federal, state, and local regulations.  It is critical for hospitals to maintain a drug diversion detection and prevention policy to protect patients, staff and the organization from liability and hefty fines.  

DEA Compliant Disposal of Controlled Substances

Hospitals must meet recently passed legislation such as the Disposal Act of 2014, a DEA ruling which amends the Controlled Substances Act.  This gives additional options to hospitals for the proper disposal of medications including controlled substances and helps to prevent drug diversion.  Facilities are no longer allowed to flush medications down the drain as a means of disposal which was proven to cause serious environmental contamination of water supplies.

It is imperative that hospitals educate, train and monitor staff to follow strict guidelines with documentation such as witness logs and maintaining proper chain of custody. Providing quick and easy disposal options for controlled substances is the best way to maintain compliance.  Rx Destroyer™ offers safe, quick, easy and affordable medication disposal systems with simple to use products, education and training.

Rx Destroyer™ offers drug disposal compliance with simple and safe solutions and products designed for many types of healthcare settings.  Our products are easy to use and the patented* formula begins to neutralize medication on contact, helping facilities to prevent drug diversion of controlled substances.


Rx Destroyer™ provides drug disposal compliance with safe, easy and affordable options.  Our family of products offer an unmatched range of container sizes to meet the needs of any environment and do not require water, batteries, or a contract.  Contact us to learn how to easily implement Rx Destroyer™ products as part of your compliant drug diversion prevention strategies.