Fifth Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
On Saturday, September 29th, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
The local drop sites are the Middletown Police Department, 123 Valley Road and Stop and Shop, 1360 West Main Rd. The Middletown Police in collaboration with the Middletown Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force will host the local event. Bring your medications for disposal. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
On the most recent Take-Back Day, citizens turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 Take-Back sites in the US states and territories. When the results of the four previous Take-Back Days are combined, more than 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) have been removed from circulation.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptive to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards. Any chemical dumped into sinks, toilets and other drains enter the waste stream.
Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a prescription drug that was prescribed for someone else or in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. Abuse can include taking a friend’s or relative’s prescription to get high, to treat pain or because you think it will help with studying or performing your job. Thanks to the recent years of hard work on the national and community level, teen drug use is down overall. However, one category is actually on the rise. In fact, more teens now abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana, more than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines combined. Teens believe abusing prescription drugs are safer than using illicit drugs, but prescription drugs can be additive and dangerous. These medications may be readily available to teens and many parents are not aware that teens are abusing these drugs.
Prescription drug abuse poses a unique challenge for task forces and prevention organizations for many reasons: parents’ lack of knowledge about prescription drug abuse and its dangers, a belief among teens that prescription drugs are a “safe” way to get high and their easy access to these drugs at home and from friends.
Parents and caregivers are the first line of defense because prescription drugs are often found in the home. Parents can help protect their teens by keeping medications in a secure location and monitoring them. Please partner with us and bring your expired, unused and unwanted medications to the Middletown Police Department on October 29, 2011.
Lori Verderosa, MSAPTF Coordinator