Dump the Drugs Responsibly

2013 UPDATE: Dump the drugs on April 27th this year.  Information can be found here.  And find your collection site here.

Saturday, April 30 is National Take-back Prescription Drug Day.

Nationwide communities have joined the DEA’s efforts that seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft by encouraging the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

In a press release the DEA tells us

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible 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.

Remember first that when prescribed a medication, you should follow your doctor’s directions and not discontinue the course of treatment without consulting him or her.  This is especially important for antibiotics.  Though you may feel better, you often need to keep taking the medicine for various reasons.

When the medicines aren’t needed anymore (and your doctor has told you it’s okay to discontinue taking them) most can’t just be flushed  down the toilet or thrown out.  Putting these substances in the toilet or trash infiltrates our water supplies.  For safe disposal tips visit the FDA’s website.

Do not give the medicines to your friends or family either.  Not knowing their medical history or what other medications they may be on could end in serious reactions to improper use of medication.  Giving your medications away may also contribute to substance abuse.  These medications are only intended for your use and as such you must guard them and dispose of them responsibly.

In September 2012, Americans turned in over 488,000 pounds—244 tons—of prescription drugs at nearly 5,200 sites operated by the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners.  In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds—over a thousand tons—of pills.

Let’s be responsible and dump our drugs this weekend!

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