On Saturday, April 27th, 2019 the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is hosting the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This event aims to provide for the safe and confidential disposal of any unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs that you may have in your home medicine cabinet. Collection sites will be fully operational between 10am and 2pm. The collection is completely confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked.
Besides removing drugs from potential abuse, the program aims to help to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. On the DEA’s website for National RX Take Back Day, you will find a national list of collection facilities available in California for Saturday, April 27, 2019. There is also a link to find year-round collection sites in your local area.
Prescription drug abuse is a major concern across the United States as many communities are struggling with the ongoing opioid epidemic. In August of 2018, the Centers for Disease Control released their annual summary of drug overdose deaths in the US. In the report, the CDC shows that over 72,000 people have died in the US from a drug overdose in 2017. This is the largest number of recorded overdose deaths ever. Factor in the other 630,000 people who have died from a drug overdose since the late 90’s, and we see a growing problem that shows no signs of slowing down. Since the late 1990’s, pharmaceutical companies have been aggressively marketing prescription opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet, codeine and even fentanyl. This major problem for many Americans begins as a medication, prescribed by a doctor and in several cases turns into a heroin addiction.
As opioid prescription rates are currently in decline, the problem of misuse of prescription drugs is constant and the health risks are dangerous and deadly. It is estimated that last year nearly 11.5 million Americans used a controlled prescription drug without a prescription from a doctor, according to the DEA. This study states that 40% received the pills from a family member or friend. Sometimes this occurs by the person visiting your home and raiding your personal medicine cabinet. Medicines that are accessibly placed in a bathroom or other location are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.
This seemingly innocent accessibility of drugs at home or in garbage bins can be very dangerous when they sometimes find their way into the wrong hands. This certainly is a huge contributor to substance abuse in your community. The DEA’s National Take Back Day is a way for you to turn in your unwanted and unused drug prescriptions in a safe, confidential way. National Take Back Day is the perfect opportunity to clean out your home medicine cabinet and be assured that your old medications and pills are disposed of safely and securely with the expert help of the proper authorities.
Some facts about prescription pharmaceutical drugs:
- -Prescription drug abuse causes more than half of the deaths from overdose in the US.
- -Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is the second most abused illicit substance, close behind marijuana.
- -It is unsafe to simply throw prescription meds away in the trash. This makes it very easy way for people to steal them and sell them on the streets of your local community.
- -The majority of teenagers in the United States who abuse medications and prescription drugs, get them from the medicine cabinets of their own home, or the homes of family members and close friends.
- -Pharmaceutical prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit street drugs when taken without a medical doctor’s supervision.
- -Flushing unused prescription drugs down the toilet is a very bad idea. It can contaminate rivers and streams and your local community’s water supply. Proper disposal helps to protect the environment and it could help save someone’s life.
In October of 2018, at a prior RX Drug Take Back Day, collection sites received over 450 tons of prescription meds from 5,839 locations nationwide. This is the agency’s 8th year of the program. The DEA will be holding these events twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
If for any reason you are unable to make it to the National RX Drug Take Back Day, or the event has already passed, click this link to find out where you can find other, year-round disposal sites for your expired, unused or unwanted prescriptions:
On Saturday, April 27, 2019 the DEA is hosting an anonymous, confidential and safe way to dispose of your unused prescription medications. Participants are asked to remove labels or black out personal information before you drop them off at a collection facility. Find locations in California and more information on year round sites here:
If you do not find your area listed at the link above, contact your local law enforcement officials to see if they participate in the event.