Opioid Disposal in the Media & Alternative Therapies

As studies in Pain Management Collaboratory research nonpharmacological alternatives to chronic pain, it is important to consider what one should do with unused prescription opioids in their possession.  The proper way to dispose of opioids is often unclear, and often misconstrued by the headlines.
William Becker, M.D., and Benjamin Oldfield, M.D., reviewed and responded to an article in Pain Medicine that addressed how the media discusses the disposal of opioids in their editorial "News Media Recommendations for Opioid Disposal: Keeping Flush with the Guidelines?".
They sat down to talk about their response, the risks of keeping unused opioids at home, and other options for pain management, drawing on their experiences treating patients within Yale School of Medicine’s Opioid Reassessment Clinic and in their individual practices and research.
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Six Questions on Opioid Disposal, Non-Opioid Alternatives for Pain Management, and the Importance of the Pain Management Collaboratory


The proper way to dispose of opioids is often unclear, and often misconstrued by the headlines. William Becker, M.D. and Benjamin Oldfield, M.D., answer questions about disposing of prescription opioids, the risks of keeping unused opioids at home, and other options for pain management.

Get the Answers

William Becker, M.D., is a general internist practicing at VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale School of Medicine.  He is additionally trained in addiction medicine and had been researching and practicing how to improve pain management. Dr. Becker is one of the principal investigators on one of the Pain Management Collaboratory trials, studying a whole health-based intervention versus a cognitive-behavioral therapy-based intervention to improve pain management among veterans.

Benjamin Oldfield, M.D., is an internal medicine/pediatric specialist practicing in New Haven, Conn. He was a National Clinician Scholar at Yale and worked with Dr. Becker in Yale School of Medicine’s Opioid Reassessment Clinic, treating patients to help improve the safety of their opioid regimens and also improve the quality of their pain management.