Encourage your patients to dispose of unused medications at National Take-Back Event

Tags: drug enforcement administration, prescription, drug abuse

Encourage your patients to dispose of unused medications at National Take-Back Event

posted 04.03.13

Abuse and misuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem in the United States, particularly among young adults ages 18-25. Some diversion and abuse comes after family or friends pillage medicine cabinets for excess medications.

To reduce this risk, the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration encourages widespread participation in an upcoming event—National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day—that encourages the public to safely dispose of unused or expired household prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications.

This year's National Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., is one in a series that dates back to 2010. In the four previous Take-Back events, the DEA and state, local, and tribal law enforcement collected more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications. Federal law allows for the development of permanent, ongoing methods of disposal, but until the regulations become permanent, the DEA will continue to hold single-day events.

Disposal locations are available around the country. The DEA has a list of all collection sites online, which is searchable by ZIP code or county/city/state.

Physicians can help by alerting patients of this opportunity, and the TAFP Commission on Public Health, Research, and Clinical Affairs supports this initiative. Promotional materials are available for download in the DEA’s online Partnership Toolbox. These include a customizable local press release, posters, pamphlets, web icons, and more, many available in English and Spanish.

Note that the following items will not be accepted during this event: needles and sharps, mercury thermometers, oxygen containers, chemotherapy or radioactive substances, pressurized canisters, or illicit drugs.

For more information, go to www.DEA.gov or call (877)-462-2911.