This year, April 29th is recognized as National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. District Health Department #10 encourages everyone to take action by disposing your unused medications all week long, leading up to the national event. Properly disposing excess medications helps protect the public safety and health of your community in the following ways:
- Reducing the risk for abuse or addiction: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 54 million Americans have abused prescription drugs at some point in their lives. Locking up medications and disposing of them once they are no longer of use can help protect those in your home from developing a pattern of prescription misuse.
- Reducing the risk of accidental overdose or death: In the U.S., nearly 61 people die every day from a prescription drug overdose. Children and senior citizens are especially vulnerable to an accidental overdose. Proper disposal of unused medications reduces the risk of these accidents by limiting access.
- Protecting our natural resources: Recent studies have shown that the presence of pharmaceuticals in our surface and ground water can have a negative impact on the aquatic ecosystem, which includes fish, birds, and other wildlife. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recommends disposing of medications to keep them out of the environment to protect our natural resources.
You can find drop off locations in your area by contacting your local health department or visiting the Drug Enforcement Administration website at www.dea.gov and clicking on the Take-Back Site Locations link.