About the National Zip-Out Unused Opioids Foundation

The National Zip-Out Unused Opioids Foundation is the brainchild of Dr. Susan E. Mackinnon, MD, FACS. Dr. Mackinnon is the Sydney M. Jr. and Robert H. Shoenberg Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

People who have surgery often get pain prescriptions for more pills than they actually need and often hoard the medications in their home medicine cabinets instead of properly disposing them. Patients prescribed with pain medications need to be responsible with their unused medications so they don’t get in the wrong hands because early exposure to opioid pain medications is a significant risk for future use of illegal substances.

Our big goal is to empower everyone to potentially save a life of a young person by increasing awareness of the dire need to clean these dangerous drugs out of medicine cabinets. The easiest way to do this is to place your unused opioid pills in a plastic food storage bag, add liquid dish detergent to dissolve the pills, and then throw away the plastic bag with the dish detergent mixed with dissolved pills inside.

We believe this is a safe, inexpensive and convenient way to responsibly dispose of these medications. The National Zip-Out Unused Opioids Foundation is working to get its message into doctor’s offices, pharmacies and schools throughout the United States. Increasing awareness and empowering the public through a simple disposal method is undoubtedly one very important way we can all help combat the opioid crisis.