National Take Back Day is Saturday April 26, 2014. What is this day exactly? This is a day where the community can dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs. This event happens twice a year, once in the spring, and once in the fall. The first Take Back Day started on September 25, 2010. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement will have locations throughout between 10:00 to 2:00. These days were created so that people could dispose of their unwanted drugs properly and to make the public aware on the seriousness of prescription drug abuse.
There are myths about the disposals of prescription drugs and the effects on the environment. The state of Washington Take Back Website does an excellent job on going over the different myths of disposing of Prescription medications.
- Crushing up your medications in either coffee grinds or kitty litter will prevent drug theft.
- Crushing your medications before throwing them in the trash is safe.
- It is ok to throw your unwanted pills in the trash because it will help prevent children from accidental poisoning.
- The FDA encourages people to throw their unwanted medications either down the drain or the toilet because it will not harm the environment.
The 4 statements listed above are in fact myths. People who are addicted to drugs will do anything to get their hands on it so it being crush upped in kitty litter or coffee isn’t really going to stop them. Crushing up medication before throwing it the trash is not safe, one the act of crush the drug can be difficult and there are chemicals in the medicine that can affect the air you breathe. Throwing away unwanted medication does not prevent accidental poisoning, children will get there hands into everything including the trash can. Also throwing away the medication can be harmful to the environment because once it goes to the landfill all of those chemicals in the medication can cause air pollution, SInce the trash trucks usually compacts the trash so that there is enough room for the whole communities garbage. Flushing or throwing the pills down the drain is dangerous because these chemicals are polluting the water, which is harming not just yourself but the people in your community, Moral of the story is dispose of your medicine properly.
There are pharmacy’s that also do dispose of unwanted medicines. It is not always advertise because the community might have to pay a little fee to dispose of the medication. When I worked at a local grocery store pharmacy in Hamilton NJ, the customer had to bring in the medication in a vial, we would send the medication to a disposal company. The customer had to pay for shipping. If you missed the opportunity on April 26th, you can always ask your local pharmacy on disposing of medications. The either have a program where they dispose of it for you or they know of a company that you can contact to help you.
National Take Back Day Awareness on Prescription Drug Abuse
This day was also created to make the general public aware of how important is it not to abuse drugs as well. Millions of Americans are abusing Prescription drugs every day. The most commonly abuse prescription drugs are opioids (Percocet or Vicodin), central nervous system depressants, (Xanax or Valium) and stimulants (Ritalin, or Adderal). Many people think that abusing prescription drugs instead of illegal ones are safer because they are prescribed by a doctor. But in actually they are just as dangerous because they can have a long term / short term consequence. Their main message is not to abuse drugs because they can make you sick and even kill you.
So Mark your calendars for April 26, 2014 and participate in National Take Back Day. Learned about the seriousness of drug abuse and get rid of all of those expired or unwanted medications. You won’t be sorry!! To find a location near you call toll free 1-800-882-9539 or visit DEA Official Website