The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has named April 27, 2019, this season’s semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. To prevent the misuse and improper disposal of prescription drugs, Take-Back Day raises awareness of the potential for abuse of medications, teaches proper disposal methods, and provides safe, convenient opportunities for people to discard any old or expired prescription drugs. Benefits of proper medication disposal include avoiding accidental consumption or misuse by youth and preventing these medications from entering the water supply through improper disposal.
According to a 2017 survey, about 6 million Americans misused prescription drugs, and most of these are obtained from one’s home, family, or friends. Every year, thousands of children accidentally ingest prescription drugs. In fact, almost 60,000 children under age five end up in emergency rooms after accidentally swallowing dangerous medications. Whether you have kids at home or friends visiting, if you see unused or expired prescriptions around your home, you can do something to protect the people in your home by finding a collection site in your community this Take-Back Day.
Commanding Officers, Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC) Directors and Drug Demand Reduction Coordinators (DDRCs) are encouraged to support this year’s Take-Back Day at their installations. Remember to check on your installation for drop sites where you can properly throw out unused, unneeded, or expired prescription medications.
The misuse of prescription drugs is always high-risk and carries serious consequences for people choosing to participate in it.
It’s that time of year, winter blues are being swept away, temperatures are rising, and spring cleaning is in full effect. This year, make sure you clean out your medicine cabinets.