Americans participating in previous Take Back Days turned in nearly 1.6 million pounds—almost 774 tons—of prescription drugs. Medicines that languish in home cabinets create a public-health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they enter their zip code.
One promising treatment for addiction to opioid painkillers is suboxone. Read more about it in Psychiatric News here.