From 1999 to 2015, over 183,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids, a number that has quadrupled since the 1990s. In 2010, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) introduced National Drug Take-Back Day to help combat accidental drug overdoses and to offer a safe disposal area for individuals looking to turn in their unused prescription medication with no strings attached. The initiative, in 2016, successfully resulted in the disposal of approximately 1.6 million unused drugs through two collections in April and October.
This year on Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 10 AM to 2 PM, throughout the nation, the DEA is posed to collect millions in unused prescription drugs. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means for disposal of prescription drugs.
Participating in this program can save lives. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) September 2016 survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 7.1% of the population age 12 and older misused many types of drug prescriptions in the last year. More than half stated they obtained the prescriptions from friends or relatives.
The United States is in the midst of a historic opioid epidemic, whether it be non-prescription or prescription drugs. In 2015, more than 33,000 individuals died from this epidemic, the highest one-year toll on record, and the trend leads to 2016’s death toll being higher. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day can assist with reducing this number substantially by eliminating potentially deadly substances from your home—removing it from the reach of young children, teens, elderly, and pets.
Join in the fight on April 29, 2017 by bringing any expired or unused drugs to a local drug collection location. To find a collection site near you visit the DEA’s website, here. If no collection location is available in your vicinity, the FDA outlines some drug disposal guidelines, here, that can help safely remove drugs from your home or workplace.