“Nearly half of all overdose deaths were due to accidental overdose of prescription drugs. This highlights the importance of focusing prevention efforts to address the rising opioid consumption among residents.”
~Orange County Health Care Agency, Drug & Alcohol Morbidity & Mortality in Orange County
Get ready to “spring-clean” your medicine cabinets – April 29, 2017 10 AM to 2 PM is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and medical facilities all around Orange County will set up drop-off locations where residents can turn in unused or unwanted prescription medications for safe disposal. The service is free and completely confidential – NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
How Big of an Event is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?
Throughout the United States, federal state, city, tribal, and military law enforcement agencies will be involved at over 5400 collection sites.
Last April, 893,498 pounds of surplus and expired prescription drugs were turned in – an all-time record. California came in at #2 in the country, with 64,320 pounds dropped off.
Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said, “These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft.”
How Big of a Problem is Prescription Drug Abuse?
The non-medical use of prescription medications such as painkilling opioids, benzodiazepine for insomnia and anxiety, and stimulants for ADHD is a serious problem in California:
- California’s #1 premature killer? Drug Abuse.
- 78 Americans die every day due to prescription opioid overdoses.
- Annually, there are 40,000 drug-related emergency room visits in California.
- Almost 52% of overdose deaths in Orange County involve prescription drugs – more than double any other type of drug.
- 44% of accidental overdoses in Orange County involve prescription medications, as do 88% of intentional
Why Is It So Important to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?
The Office of National Drug Control Policy says that taking expired or unused prescription medications from US medicine cabinets is one of the most-effective strategies for reducing prescription drug diversion and misuse.
After alcohol and marijuana, over-the-counter medicines and prescription medications are the most-frequently-abused substances by US Americans 14 and older. Research shows that people who abuse prescription drugs usually get them – given, bought, or stolen – from relatives or friends.
But it is not enough to just throw old prescriptions in the trash or flush them away. Throwing them away still leaves the possibility of theft, and flushing could lead to environmental contamination. When the medications are turned in to the proper agencies, they can be disposed of safely.
“Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction. Take-Back events like these raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse, “Rosenberg continued.
You can find a list of collection sites in Orange County you by clicking here.
If your teenager has been abusing any over-the-counter or prescription medications, you can get them the help they need by calling Teensavers Treatment Centers. For over 35 years, Teensavers has been most-trusted drug rehab program in Orange County.
By focusing on your teenager’s unique needs, Teensavers aids in restoring hope to your entire family.
by Albert Fontenot