One of the easiest ways to help fight prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths is to discard any prescription drugs that have expired or are no longer in use. This helps keep them away from children and out of the hands of people who might abuse them.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors National Prescription Take Back Days twice a year, every Spring and Fall.
“As we continue to combat the opioid epidemic, an important piece is the proper disposal of unwanted prescription drugs,” says Governor Ralph Northam.
Unused or expired prescription medications can lead to potential accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdoses. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment by keeping these substances out of rivers, lakes and public water supplies.
A majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Prescription opioid painkillers, when misused, have similar effects to those of heroin and other illicit opioids, and an estimated 80 percent of people using heroin began by misusing prescription opioids.
Prescription drugs should be taken only by the person for whom they are prescribed, and only in the dosage as indicated. When medications are misplaced, forgotten about, or unaccounted for, they can become a danger to others.
“This initiative is an integral part of our work to address the opioid and addiction epidemic in Virginia,” says Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Getting rid of expired medication and unsafe vaping devices prevents these drugs and devices from falling into the wrong hands and harming members of our community.”
More than 937,400 pounds of prescription drugs were collected nationwide at the April 2019 National Take Back Day.
Visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/ for more information and to find your nearest collection site for the next date.