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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Slated for Sept. 26

by Helios | Sep 09, 2015
Saturday, September 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the purpose of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription medications that are unwanted, unused, or expired, while also educating the public on the potential for the abuse of medications.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, diversion, misuse, or abuse. Prescription medications can be as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a legitimate medical need or a doctor’s supervision, leading to accidental poisoning or overdose. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 15.3 million people aged 12 or older used prescription drugs non-medically. Often times these medications were found discarded in the trash or right in the family medicine cabinet. Additionally, nearly 2 million Americans either abuse or are dependent on prescription medications according to the NSDUH. That is more than any other drug except marijuana and alcohol. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the number of deaths from prescription painkillers has quadrupled since 1999, killing more than 16,000 people in 2013, and causing 1.4 million reported emergency room visits in 2011.

The DEA has sponsored nine previous Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, collecting 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons, of prescription medications. During the 10th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 26, there will be community sites throughout the country available to safely dispose of unwanted prescription medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pennsylvania and Delaware will sponsor prescription drug take-back sites on September 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here to find a location near you.

With a goal to ensure the right medication is taken by the right person at the right time, we commend the DEA for its efforts in deterring prescription medication abuse and misuse, as well as our network pharmacies who have joined us in this mission.