“A lot of these drugs are not obtained by the end-user through prescription, but someone is obtaining a prescription for way more than they need and maybe doing so on a regular basis and selling the drug and that’s where we see a lot of addiction start.”
~ Long Beach Councilwoman Suzie Price
This October 28, from 10 AM until 2 PM, local law enforcement agencies in and around Orange County will be participating in the 14th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
At specially-designated locations, Orange County residents can turn in any surplus prescription drugs for safe disposal. All across California and the rest of the United States, nearly 5500 collection sites will be available to the public. In Orange County alone, there will be over two dozen locations.
The best part?
ANYONE can drop any prescription drugs in their possession, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. The goal isn’t to make arrests, it’s to save lives by getting these addictive and dangerous drugs out of home medicine cabinets, off the streets, and out of the hands of anyone who might misuse them.
The Importance of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that removing surplus prescriptions from home medicine cabinets is one of the most effective strategies in the fight against medication misuse.
This is especially true when it comes to prescription drug abuse by teenagers.
Among Americans age 14 and up, prescription and OTC drugs are the third-most-frequently-abused substances, behind only alcohol and cannabis. Significantly, most people who abuse prescriptions do not buy the meds from a dealer. Instead, they typically get them from a friend or family member FOR FREE.
Prescription Drug Abuse in California
The non-medical misuse of prescription is a serious problem in California, costing THOUSANDS of lives every year.
- Fatal drug overdoses are the biggest cause of premature death in California
- 2016: On average, drug overdoses killed 175 Americans a day.
- 2015: Californian substance abuse treatment programs saw nearly 150,000 admissions.
- 2013: Prescription drugs caused more than half of the overdose deaths in Orange County.
- In Orange County, the number of emergency room visits involving opioids has doubled over the past decade.
- Orange County’s opioid-related deaths rate is almost 3 times higher than adjacent Los Angeles County.
What Are the Most-Abused Prescription Medications?
Popular prescription drugs of abuse include:
- Opioid Painkillers
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet)
- Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Methadone (Methadose, Dolophine)
- Benzodiazepine Tranquilizers
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- ADHD Stimulants
- Sleeping Pills
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Zaleplon (Sonata)
- Zolpidem (Ambien)
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day—Making a Difference in Every Community
The last collection day was April 29, 2017. In only 4 hours, over 900,000 pounds of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medications were turned in. This was an all-time record of 450 tons. Since 2010, more than 8 MILLION pounds of drugs have been collected.
Click HERE for a listing of all the participating take-back sites in Orange County.
by Albert Fontenot