You Can Now Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs
I recently looked in a friend’s medicine cabinet and saw about a dozen bottles of prescription drugs, some of which were six years old. And none of which were currently being taken. Fortunately, there are no young people in this friend’s environment. But had there been, there’s a 40 percent chance the drugs would have started someone off on a very dangerous path. But how could he have gotten rid of them safely?
If he’d put them in the trash, there’s a possibility they might be found. And used. If he’d flushed them down the toilet, he would be polluting our water – the water fish swim in it (and we eat them), we drink it, and so on. When you unleash prescription drugs on the environment, everyone is affected.
Some cities, towns and states have had special days where people can turn in their old prescriptions to the police. The DEA also runs its own nationwide pill-take-back events. According to the Department of Justice, people turned in a total of 390 tons of prescription drugs during a DEA even last April at more than 6,000 sites.
That’s an amazing amount of drugs when you consider that with a lot of them you could put 10 pills in your hand and barely notice the weight.
But occasional special events aren’t enough.
Especially when fatal overdoses of prescription painkillers are at an all time high.
So the DEA is issuing a new regulation – as of October this year, people will be able to take their unused pills back to the pharmacies and clinics where they received them and the drugs will be destroyed.
Oddly enough, many of the people complaining about having access to the drugs are people who are actually addicted to opioid painkillers like Oxycontin, hydrocodone, Vicodin, and so on. They complained that the government rules made it difficult to get rid of the drugs safely.
Well – no more.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced the new rule in a video posted on the Justice Department’s website. Four in 10 teens who abuse prescription drugs, he said, got them from the family medicine cabinet.
“These shocking statistics illustrate that prescription drug addiction and abuse represent nothing less than a public health crisis,” he said in the video message. “Every day, this crisis touches—and devastates—the lives of Americans from every state, in every region, and from every background and walk of life.”
Check with your pharmacy to make sure they’re participating in the program.
And someone you care about needs addiction help, call us now. We helped thousands of people and we can help you too.