Local doctor says you can fight opioid epidemic by cleaning out your medicine cabinet


A local pain management doctor is speaking out about opiods. She wants people to be aware of what they are doing with their old, or unused medications.

Kathryn Park, a pain management doctor at the South Bend Clinic, says people should get rid of that old medication.

She is aiming her remarks at everyone who has kept their pain meds after they are done taking them.

Some forget they are in the cabinet, others keep them thinking they may need them again.

But Park says that is dangerous. She says it increases the likelihood that those meds can get into the wrong hands.

She says numbers show that only about 28 percent of pills prescribed to a patient are used by that patient. So there is about 70 percent out there that could be obtained by someone else.

She believes this could be contributing to the opioid epidemic.

That is why pain management doctors are trying to prescribe fewer opioids.

"I think we are having longer conversations with the patients to try to get them to understand opioids are not the only treatment option," said Park. "They need to take good care of themselves, exercise. pain is not always a bad thing. pain is your body telling you you're doing too much."

Watch a report from WSBT 22's Kristin Bien in the video above.

Pill drop-off

WSBT 22 found a pill drop-off this weekend so you can get rid of those old pills in your cabinet:

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