Do you have old, unused medications just sitting around your home waiting to fall into the wrong hands?
Anyone who enters your home could gain access to those medications and you wouldn’t even miss them. Most abusers say that’s where they got the first prescription medications that started them on the road to abuse and addiction – from unsuspecting friends and family members.
The most heavily abused medications are prescription opioid painkillers, which many people are prescribed for pain. Abuse of opioids can be devastating and can result in overdose and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record.
But you can do something positive to fight this killer epidemic by participating in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The event allows Californians to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Taking your unused, unwanted or expired medications to a Drug Take Back location is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs.
To get ready for the event, remove pills from bottles and put them into a plastic bag and seal it. Liquids should be kept in the original bottle. Items accepted during Drug Take Back Day include prescription and non-prescription medications, controlled substances and veterinary medications. Items that will not be accepted include sharps or lancets, medical waste, illicit drugs, marijuana products, aerosols or hydrogen peroxide.
So, clean out your medicine cabinets and turn in – safely and anonymously – all of that medication clutter.
To find a collection site near you, visit the DEA online at takebackday.dea.gov/ or the California State Board of Pharmacy at www.pharmacy.ca.gov. You can enter your address to find California pharmacies that offer on-site collection bins or mail-back services for unwanted medications.
The Board recently launched its “Use, Don’t Abuse” campaign, encouraging consumers to use medications properly and to store them safely at home. Outfront Media recently donated five illuminated billboards to the Board or promote the message of “Safely Dispose of Unused Medications” and “Stop Prescription Drug Abuse.” For more information, visit https://pharmacy.ca.gov/consumers/drug_takeback.shtml.