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'Take Back’ Programs For Unused Prescription Drugs Are On The Rise

on Tuesday, 24 June 2014. Posted in Breaking News

'Take Back’ Programs For Unused Prescription Drugs Are On The Rise

The growing dangers of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. have prompted the creation of a number of programs designed to reduce the instances of abuse and addiction.

These kinds of programs that are active across the country are known as "Take Back" programs which offer a way for communities to properly dispose of any unused prescription medications so that they do not end up in the wrong hands.

Unused medications that are lingering in bathroom cabinets are often taken by children or are stolen by burglars looking for specific drugs to sell for profit. Any prescription medications that are not dropped off through a take back program could potentially contribute to problems of prescription drug abuse.

Drop-Off Locations for Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug take back programs are available in a number of different states throughout the U.S. to help alleviate the health and safety concerns associated with drug abuse and recreational use of prescription medications. These programs provide communities with hundreds of secure and permanent prescription drug drop-off boxes throughout their local neighborhoods.

Concerned parents or citizens with bottles of unused medication can bring their prescription drugs in a sealed container to dispose of at a drop-off location. All types of medication are accepted including solid medications, tablets and capsules, liquid medications, inhalers, creams, ointments, nasal sprays and even pet medications. These types of prescription medications are collected and destroyed so that they cannot be sold or used for non-prescription purposes.

There are currently over 5,600 collection sites across the country and the DEA has collected more than 1,700 tons of expired and unwanted medication through take back programs over the past three and a half years. The service is free and anonymous, allowing people to get rid of any potentially harmful or addictive medications that they do not want available in their home.

Dangers Of Unused Medications In The Home

Prescription drug abuse has nearly reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. with currently twice as many Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number of people abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined. More American die from prescription drug overdose than those that are kills in car accidents according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The majority of prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends or discovered in the home medicine cabinet. This is especially an issue among young people in high school that commonly take prescription medications such as Oxycontin, Xanax and hydrocone to get high. Teenagers are able to get the medication because they sit unused or forgotten in the back of drawers or medicine cabinets.

Parents may not even notice that they are gone once kids find them and begin abusing or distributing them among their peers. In most other cases, burglars target particular homes, especially of people who have recently died to go rooting for medication in their cabinets. For parents with young teens or family members of the recently deceased, take back programs allow them the opportunity to prevent these situations by disposing of any unnecessary prescription medication.

Take back programs throughout the U.S. are an easy and effective way for people to avoid any of the dangers associated with keeping unused prescription drugs around the house. Drop-off locations are usually open 24 hours a day and are safe locations to bring prescription drugs where they will be disposed of or destroyed by the DEA.

Instead of people leaving their homes vulnerable to being burglarized or potentially exposing their children to harmful and addictive drugs, they can eliminate many of their dangerous medications and only keep the ones they use on a regular basis. Take back programs have been a successful measure to actively preventing prescription drug abuse in the U.S.


Photo Credit: ep_jhu via Photopin

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