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Friday, April 28, 2017

Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs

prescription opioids
We can all have an active role in preventing prescription drug abuse, addiction and overdose. It can be easy to feel helpless in the face of any problem of epidemic proportions, given the fact that about 100 people die from an overdose every day in the United States and millions more are caught in the insidious cycle of opioid addiction. Americans make up but a small fraction of the world’s population, but we prescribe and use up to the clear majority of all prescription opioids.

Many people with an opioid use disorder (OUD) were introduced to opioids by way of a doctor prescribing drugs like oxycodone for pain. However, a significant number of people abusing such drugs today were introduced to them by a friend or family member diverting their medication. Many Americans, even those who are aware of the facts, still do not see much harm in providing unused or unwanted pills to their peers. To take it a step further, despite the apparent risk of overdose, most adults with children do not lock up their medicine cabinet.

With such great risks at stake it is almost hard to wrap one’s head around the laissez-faire attitudes about the risk of overdose that prevails in the U.S. A lack of perceived danger has led to many a loved one being able to purloin opioids from medicine drawers. A practice that has resulted in teenagers and young adults acquiring opioid, benzodiazepines and amphetamines without a prescription.


Doing Your Part to Prevent Overdose

Both Federal and state governments can only do so much to affect change on a societal problem. Rules and regulations, while immensely effective, cannot address every aspect of this most pernicious crisis devastating families from Alaska to Florida, from Maine to Hawaii. To affect change on a massive scale requires that we, as a society make a conscious, concerted effort to be more responsible regarding drugs that are seemingly going to be around as long as people experience pain.

As has been proven, prohibiting the use of certain drugs has little impact on addiction. However, responsible use and disposal of such drugs can go a long way in preventing people from starting down the road of addiction—a path that often ends in overdose. Which is why it is vital that every American with unwanted or unused prescription drugs take advantage of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day happening tomorrow, April 29, 2017. Between 10AM to 2PM, you can take unwanted prescription drugs to safe disposal sites in all 50 states.

Last April, nearly 450 tons of unwanted medication were collected across the U.S, according to the DEA. Typical locations for safe disposal are hospital and pharmacies, fire departments and police stations. For more information on finding a medication drop location, please click here.

“These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

California collected 32 tons of unused medication last year. While that is a mind-boggling number of drugs, there was likely even more drugs that could have been disposed, but were not. Perhaps this April, we can do even better.


Need Help With Prescription Drug Abuse

If you are currently battling an opioid use disorder, or prescription drug abuse of any kind, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We understand how difficult it is to withdraw from opioid dependence, but we have helped many accomplish what may seem like an insurmountable task to you right now. Let us help you break the cycle of drug abuse and teach you how it's possible to live a life in recovery.

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