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Friday, April 27, 2018

DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 28, 2018, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day; this is a significant event that can save lives if the general public utilizes the service. Take Back Days is one the DEA’s answers to the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. Research reveals that the majority of abused prescription drugs are acquired from friends and family. The family medicine cabinet is often the source of fatal overdose in this country.

If you are in recovery, it stands to reason that you don’t have half-empty bottles of OxyContin or Xanax collecting dust in your medicine chest; if you do, tomorrow is a great time to address the danger to your recovery (or someone else's) in the next room. Some people in recovery are taking narcotic medications as prescribed for any one of a number of conditions, if you are one of those people, please keep your medicines out of sight and locked up. You wouldn’t want to tempt or jeopardize another's recovery.

Opioid use disorder in America, more times than not, initiates from prescriptions obtained legally by a physician. That is not to say that the patient in question is always the person who falls victim to the disease of addiction. Many people living with opioid dependence today took their first painkiller without a prescription; whatever one’s justification is, a large percentage of individuals report not having an issue sharing their prescription opioids with someone in need. A slippery slope to be sure! Even with knowledge of the epidemic taking around a hundred lives per diem, family members still divert medication to a loved one in need.

Mitigating the Risk of Prescription Opioid Diversion

 

prescription opioids
The United States makes up around 4% of the world population, yet uses over 80% of the global supply of opioids, according to Express Scripts. In 2015, doctors prescribed enough opiates to dose everyone in the United States 24 hours a day for almost a month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. There were 214 million opioid prescriptions dispensed in 2016. Of course, opioids are not the only drugs in people’s homes that carry the potential for abuse, i.e., stimulants like Adderall and sedatives like Ativan.

If citizens don’t take it upon themselves to remove unused or unwanted medications from their home, safely, there is no way of predicting where the drugs might end up. There is mountains worth of prescription narcotics that people are no longer using in the United States. In fact, the last Take Back Day in Oct 2017 collected an enormous number of pills nationwide, 912,305 lbs. (456 Tons); up from 900,386 lbs. (450 Tons) in April 2017. Hopefully, the 15th National Take Back will accrete even more than ever before.

While DEA sponsors the event, other organizations and companies are lending a hand, including the tech-giant Google. Developers worked with the DEA using Google Maps API, to create a locator tool that helps people track down collection sites. Google writes:

“We're deeply concerned by the opioid crisis that has impacted families in every corner of the United States. We started by thinking about how to bring Google’s technical expertise to help families combat the epidemic.”

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


We hope each person will dispose of medications safely. If you are struggling with prescription drug addiction, please contact Hope By The Sea. We rely on evidence-based therapies, and we're committed to providing our clients with the highest caliber of care.

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