Monday, November 7, 2011
Prescription drugs are often not completely used which is why states have started instituting prescription drug take back days. Most people when they no longer require the drugs they were prescribed will leave them in their medicine cabinet which can lead to people or children coming upon them and taking them recreationally. Scenarios like that often lead to unintentional overdoses especially with drugs like oxycodone.
An estimated 14,800 people died in the United States from painkiller overdoses in 2008, a more than threefold jump from the 4,000 deaths recorded in 1999, the CDC said. Prescription and illegal drugs caused 36,450 deaths in 2008, compared with 39,973 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
Since the start of this year’s take back day, 188.5 tons of unwanted or expired prescription medications were collected around the country, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced.
Almost 500 tons of medications have been collected by the DEA since it began the program 13 months ago, according to the Associated Press. More than 5,000 drug collection locations were set up around the country this year.
“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a news release.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report that found the number of Americans who died from overdoses of prescription painkillers more than tripled in the past decade. Prescription drugs are a serious health concern across the country and around the world, with more and more drugs being prescribed every day authorities need to be extra vigilant with regard to the matter.
Everyone should do their part and properly dispose of prescription medications, it can save lives.