By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions
On Saturday, April 22, you have a chance to safely and anonymously dispose of any expired, unneeded or unwanted medications that you have.
It is a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sponsored by the U.S. Department of Drug Enforcement (DEA).
Twice each year, the DEA in partnership with local law enforcement hosts a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The purpose is twofold. The first is to provide a responsible, safe, convenient, and environmentally correct way for you to dispose of outdated or unused tablets, capsules, patches, and other non-liquid forms of prescription medications. Vaping devices and cartridges also are accepted, providing that lithium batteries have been removed. Please note that liquids, syringes, sharpies, and illicit drugs are not accepted.
If unused medications are flushed down the toilet, they can contaminate the water supply. If they are thrown into the garbage, they can potentially be retrieved and either abused or illegally resold.
The National Drug Take-Back Day also provides an opportunity to educate the public about the potential for abusing prescription medications.
For instance, the most recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that nearly 107.000 people died of a drug overdose during the 12-month period that ended on Nov. 30, 2021, which is the highest number ever recorded.
The DEA reports that drug overdose deaths now claim more than 290 lives here in the U.S. every day. More than 130 deaths every day can be blamed on overdosing on opioids.
A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that the majority of people who misuse prescription medications obtained the drugs from family, friends, and acquaintances.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day saves lives and protects the environment. The DEA estimates that more than 16.6 million pounds of unused or outdated medications have been taken out of circulation since the inception of the Take-Back program.
So take the time to clean out your medicine cabinet and pull out any prescription medications that are outdated or no longer needed and take them to a Take Back location. To find a site near you, click here.
If you happen to miss your opportunity on April 22, click here to find a year-round disposal location, click here.