Friday, April 26, 2013

Patients Get Opportunity to Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medication

The Sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a program of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will take place this Saturday April 27 across the country, giving people a chance to safely dispose of medication they no longer need. National Take-Back Day was initiated to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Local law enforcement agencies in thousands of American communities have partnered with the DEA to take in more than 2 million pounds—almost 1,018 tons—of expired prescription drugs since September 2010. The DEA says that unused medications in homes create a public-health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. 

Collection sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. Visit and click on the “Got Drugs?” icon for the location of the nearest site.

Monitoring programs that offer real-time information to pharmacies could also curtail prescription drug abuse, said Canadian researchers recently. Read about their study and recommendations in Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Lisa S./


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