Prescription

State urges residents to take back drugs

Published 10:04pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

Law enforcement agencies will collect unused medications at dozens of locations across Alabama on Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. In addition to preventing potential abuse of unused and expired medications, proper disposal also protects the environment.

“When used properly under the guidance of a doctor, prescription drugs bring much-needed relief to many people,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “However, it’s important to make sure these drugs do not end up in the wrong hands. Families need to check their medicine cabinets for prescription drugs that are expired or no longer needed.

“I am proclaiming Oct. 26 as Drug Take-Back Day to encourage people to safely dispose of unused or expired medications. Combating the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs is a priority of my administration, and events like this offer a perfect opportunity for people to dispose of medications in a safe and responsible manner.”

The public is asked to bring their medications to a nearby location for disposal. To find a collection site, please visit adph.org and click on the “Got Drugs” link. Inquiries can also be made at 1-800-882-9539. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

According to the online database, the closest collection sites for Brewton are in Milton, at the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office.

Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (more than 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take-Back events, DEA and its partners took in more than 2.8 million pounds — more than 1,400 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that stay in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

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