October 23, 2013

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted in Events, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , at 11:15 am by Lund

This coming Saturday, October 26th is National Prescription Drug Take-Back day and there will be many sites around the state where you can bring old, unused, excess or expired regulated drugs to be safely and responsibly disposed.   This is also an opportunity for law enforcement agencies to educate the public about prescription drug abuse.  According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.   That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.  If the drugs are not in the medicine cabinets unnecessarily, it is an important step towards reducing the extremely prevalent problem of prescription drug abuse in Vermont.

In Burlington, you can bring prescription drugs to the police station on North Avenue or to Price Chopper on Shelburne Road from 10am to 2pm.   You can find the full list of drop off locations here: vsp.vermont.gov/drugtakeback

Last year 3045lbs of drugs were collected in Vermont and 742,497lbs were collected nationally.  This brings the total amount of drugs collected since the inception of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day  in 2010 to 2.8 million lbs or 1409 tons.   These drugs never found their way on to the street or into the hands of anyone who would be tempted to misuse them.

Take Back Drugs

The conversation around opiate addiction in Chittenden County has always focused on a three part approach – prevention, treatment and punishment for offenders.  This take back initiative and the opportunities for education that it provides is a key part of prevention.
If you cannot bring your unwanted prescriptions on Saturday, please read the following advice about how to safely dispose of medicines:

1. Take them out of the bottle
2. Mix them in with something unappealing like coffee grounds or kitty litter

3. Seal the mixture in a bag and throw the whole thing away.

4. Please do not flush prescription drugs as they can contaminate the water supply and be harmful to the environment.

For more information, visit the US DEA website

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