SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Perscription drug abuse epidemics and drug overdoses are killing more people than ever before, and easy access to pain medications may be contributing to that problem, but there is a way you can help prevent the number of deaths from rising even more.
A recent health study found that more than half of the individuals that are prescribed an opioid pain medication never finish the prescription; while, another U.S. government report found that more than 70% of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from friends, relatives, or simply take them without asking.
Attacking the problem of prescription drug abuse takes a multi-faceted effort, and that’s why the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced its 18th National Prescription Take-Back Day.
The 18th Annual Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, October 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Take-Back Day provides people with a safe, convenient, and responsible environment to dispose of those left-over prescription drugs. It also educates the public about the potential for drug abuse.
The DEA has been hosting Take-Back Day events since 2012, and since then, they have collected 12 million pounds of medication for safe disposal.
It is important to get rid of those old and unused medications as soon as you no longer need them. Some of those medications can even become ineffective over time.
Medications that are kept can be abused by someone searching through your medicine cabinet, and prescription drugs that are thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or sold illegally. Children can also be poisoned by unused medication.
On the National Drug Take-Back Day, communities will be sponsoring take-back sites.
For a list of those sites now, you can call 1-800-222-1222 and poison center nurses and pharmacists will be able to answer any of your questions and help you locate the nearest take-back site.
If you cannot bring your unused prescription medicine, there are other ways you can dispose of them properly. You can bring unused medications to pharmacies, as most pharmacies will take back unused medications every day of the year. If your pharmacy cannot take them back, you can call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Center will be able to tell you what pharmacies near you will take back unused medications, and they are available to talk 24/7.