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What is opioid diversion?

Opioid diversion means selling or giving opioids that were prescribed to one individual to another individual illegally. Opioid diversion is a criminal offense. You should never give opioid medications to someone to whom they were not prescribed, even if the intention is to be helpful. 

For example, I often hear about patients that will give their prescribed opioids to a family member who is in pain. While the intention is good, this can be very dangerous for the health of that individual and is also against the law. If that person feels they need opioids to manage pain, please encourage them to reach out to a doctor, but do not ever give opioids to someone for whom they were not prescribed.

Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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