Although Americans are becoming more aware of the prescription drug abuse epidemic, drug overdoses are killing more people than ever before.
A recent public health study found that more than half of individuals who are prescribed an opioid pain medication never finish the prescription.
Another U.S. government report shows that more than 70 percent of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from their friends and relatives or simply take them without asking. Attacking the problem of prescription drug abuse takes a multi-faceted effort.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that the 18th National Prescription Take-Back Day will be Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Take-Back Day provides a safe, convenient and responsible means to prescription drug disposal, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Since the DEA began hosting the National Prescription Take-Back Day in 2010, 12 million pounds of medications have been collected for safe disposal.
It is important to get rid of old and unused medicines because medications can become ineffective over time. Other medicines can be abused by someone searching through your medicine cabinet.
Prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or sold illegally. Young children also may be poisoned by unused medication.
On the National Prescription Take-Back Day, communities will be sponsoring take-back sites. Call 1-800-222-1222 and poison center nurses and pharmacists will be able to answer your questions and help you locate the nearest take-back site.
Keep in mind that many pharmacies will take back unused medication every day of the year.
If you aren’t able to take medication back on the National Prescription Take-Back Day, you can call the poison center for pharmacy take-back sites year round.