April 27th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which addresses an important public safety and health concern. What is the concern? If you do not properly dispose of unused medications or expired prescription medications, then they could end up in the wrong hands and cause a potential overdose or adverse reaction to a medication. Unused and expired medicines in the home put you and your family at an increased risk for accidental poisonings.
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. Many of these medications were obtained from family members and friends. Medication take back days provide an opportunity for families to dispose of medicine in a safe, convenient, and responsible way.
On April 27th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will collect medications at various drug take-back sites. By turning in your unused medications, you are helping save lives! Remember, medications should never be flushed down the toilet, because this can affect the clean water supply. Instead of simply throwing medications in the trash, head to a drug take-back site and turn them in.
Here are some important points to why turning in old medications is so vital:
- Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when they get in the wrong hands.
- The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second to marijuana as the most commonly abused drugs in America.
- Unused prescription drugs can easily be retrieved if simply thrown in the trash. They can then be abused or illegally sold to others.
- Most teens who abuse medications get them from family or friends by going into their medicine cabinets.
To find a drug take-back location near you, please visit https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1. And for more information on Drug Take-Back Day, please visit the DEA website at https://takebackday.dea.gov/.
The Texas Poison Center Network wants to keep you and your family safe. It is always important to safely store the medicines you use by keeping them out of reach of children and pets.
If you or someone you know has misused medication and is having adverse reactions, please contact us! You can also contact the poison center for information on safe medication disposal. They are available to take your call 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222.
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