Thursday, April 5, 2012
- Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.
- Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor's supervision.
- The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.
> The 2010 Monitoring the Future study - a national survey on youth drug abuse - found that six of the topt ten substances used by 12th graders in the past year were pharmaceuticals.
> The estimated number of emergency department visits linked to non-medical use of prescription drugs doubled between 2004 and 2009.
> 28,000 Americans died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2007, and prescription drugs - particularly opioid painkillers - are considered major contributors to the total number of drug deaths; in 2007, they represented 42% of unintentional drug overdoses.
- The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends - and the home medicine cabinet.
- Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.
- Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs.
On April 28, 2012, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will once again host a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. When the results of the three prior Take-Back Days are combined, the DEA and its state and local law enforcement and community partners have removed 995,185 pounds (498.5 tons) of medication from circulation in the past 13 months. This speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. Until such laws are passed, it means that law enforcement agencies are the only entity that can legally accept left over controlled substances from consumers.
The New Orleans District Office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration is soliciting local law enforcement assistance in this initiative by leading a collection site in their community. Collection activities are being planned between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm at community friendly sites. Law enforcement agencies interested in participating should contact the District Office at (504) 840-1108 for information on registering for the 4th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Additional information on DEA's prescription drug take back efforts can be found at www.dea.gov.
Do you need more information about other methods of drug disposal? See related information below.