Nearly 130 people in the U.S. die every day from a drug overdose, and most of those involve prescription opioids or heroin. The majority of people of people who misuse prescription drugs report that they obtained the drugs from family or friends.
But this weekend you can do something about it and help protect your family and friends.
This Saturday, October 22, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration. If you have unneeded or expired prescription drugs at home, you can drop them off at a safe, legal collection site in your neighborhood from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. No questions asked. More than 6.4 million pounds of medication have been collected at past Take-Back Days.
There will more than 5,000 collection sites nationwide, and thousands of state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers will join with parents and community leaders to safely, conveniently, and responsibly dispose of expired or unwanted prescription drugs.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has been working with Federal agencies and communities to make it easier for communities to set up permanent disposal programs locally. And following the President’s call to action last year, private organizations have taken steps to make it more convenient to safely dispose of unneeded drugs throughout the year. For example:
- Walgreens Pharmacy has installed more than 500 drug disposal kiosks at pharmacies in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
- CVS Pharmacy has donated more than 600 disposal units to law enforcement and is holding more than 125 events across the country for Take-Back Day
- The National Community Pharmacists Association is educating pharmacists on creating drug disposal programs through its “Dispose My Meds” program
- The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids released a guide on disposal to help community officials design safe drug-disposal programs
- AARP is educating its more than 37 million members on why disposal is important and how to dispose of their unneeded or expired prescription drugs
President Obama has made clear that addressing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is a priority for his Administration. Take-Back Day is a critical part of the Administration’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic. To fully address the crisis, however, Congress must act to provide more funding to make lifesaving treatment available to everyone who seeks it. The President has called for $1.1 billion in new funding for states to help expand access to treatment. Every day that passes without Congressional action to provide these additional resources is a missed opportunity to save lives.
While the Administration waits on Congress, Federal agencies have been using their authority to take every available action they can. The Administration has been working to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use, expand access to effective treatment, support the millions of Americans in recovery, and pursue targeted enforcement activities.
On Saturday, you can help make your community safer by participating in Take-Back Day in your area.