On Oct. 26, 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration is sponsoring National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public can take unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs to designated locations. This initiative aims to reduce the number of prescription drug-related poisonings, overdoses and substance use disorders.
The Drug Enforcement Administration provides a collection site locator to help you find the nearest drop-off point. You can also call 1-800-882-9539 with inquiries.
These efforts are rooted in a response to our nation’s opioid epidemic, but they also seek to address concerns about all forms of drug misuse or accidental poisoning. Let’s look at why these initiatives are important and what you can do if you want to dispose of prescription drugs outside of the take-back timeframe designated by the DEA.
What is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Why is it Important?
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides the chance to reduce addictions and overdoses. Twice a year, the DEA sponsors these drives, designating locations where people can take unwanted, unused or expired medications. Through this initiative, people can dispose of prescription medications safely and anonymously.
Most misused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, frequently from the home medicine cabinet. In 2018, nearly 10 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. Drug overdoses have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2017, more than 60,000 people died from drug overdoses, making overdose the leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. Most of those deaths involved prescription opioids.
How Effective is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?
During 2019’s spring National Prescription Take Back Day, more than 6,000 collection sites manned by nearly 5,000 partner law enforcement agencies participated in the event. So far, the DEA has collected nearly 6,000 tons of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications. Oct. 26 will mark the 18th Take Back Day. Participants can help reduce risks of contributing to substance use disorders and protect their homes from theft.
What You Should Know About Legally Disposing of Prescription Drugs
It’s important to note that you can dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs anytime and not just on Take Back Days. Search authorized collectors in your area to find a drop-off point. One of the main goals of Take Back Days – and of authorized collection sites in general – is to secure controlled substances. You can deliver controlled substances to authorized collectors or to law enforcement via a collection receptacle or through the mail in a mail-back package.
You can take your own prescription drugs or a member of your household’s unused or unwanted pharmaceutical controlled substances to authorized collectors. However, you are not allowed to dispose of a person’s pharmaceutical controlled substances if they are not a member of your household. You are also not allowed to dispose of illicit drugs through authorized collectors, mail-back packages or Take Back Days.
Addressing Addiction Requires Collective and Individual Action
Initiatives like National Prescription Drug Take Back Day represent the collective actions we take to fight addiction. October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and it also gives us all the opportunity to start the conversation about the dangers of substance use. Prevention is the best way to fight addiction, but those already struggling with substance use disorders need our help now. This is where our individual efforts become crucial.
We must help loved ones struggling with substance use disorders in their fight to overcome addiction. Now is the time to start the conversation about addiction with our friends and family members. Sometimes a conversation is all it takes to make a difference in a loved one’s life.
Contact BRC Recovery to Learn How We Can Help
At BRC Recovery, we believe in the power of recovery. Our staff assists people who believe they are resistant to treatment, and we know that recovery is possible for everyone. BRC Recovery offers several programs for people in all stages of addiction and recovery, from detox to sober living. We assess clients’ needs to determine the best path to live a better, healthier and more fulfilling life.
If you or a loved one is considering who to turn to for help, we encourage you to reach out to us to learn more about our services. Call us at 1-866-905-4550 to speak to a BRC Recovery admissions specialists.