The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to put its emphasis on prescription drug abuse.
DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg today announced that the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back will take place September 26th from 10 am-2 pm local time. As with the previous nine Take-Back events, sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide so local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.
Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov . This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” Rosenberg said. “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”
According to drugabuse.gov the most the classes of prescription drugs most commonly abused are: opioid pain relievers, such as Vicodin or Oxycontin; stimulants for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall, Concerta, or Ritalin; and central nervous system (CNS) depressants for relieving anxiety, such as Valium or Xanax.1 The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold remedies containing dextromethorphan.
People often think that prescription and OTC drugs are safer than illicit drugs, but that’s only true when they are taken exactly as prescribed and for the purpose intended. When abused, prescription and OTC drugs can be addictive and put abusers at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose—especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol.
1. In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of unwanted medication were collected.