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It has been nearly a decade since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) set out to collect unused or unwanted medication. In that time, an almost unbelievable number of prescription drugs have been received at official Take Back locations across the country.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice each year, in the spring and fall. The service is of tremendous benefit to communities that have seen a rise in nonmedical pharmaceutical use. Prescription drug diversion is one of the leading causes of misuse. More than half of people who misuse prescription narcotics, tranquilizers, or stimulants obtain the drugs from a friend or relative.

Sometimes, people steal prescription drugs from family medicine cabinets, while other times they acquire them with permission. In spite of the staggering rates of overdose in the U.S., a large number of people will not hesitate to share their drug for nonmedical use.

Misuse often leads to abuse, dependence, and use disorder. Keeping prescription painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants (i.e., OxyContin, Xanax, and Adderall), out of the wrong hands saves lives. Anyone who has stale-dated or unwanted medications in the medicine cabinet can help their community by disposing of them safely.

The American prescription drug addiction epidemic affects everyone. It’s likely that each person knows someone who is battling or has struggled with substance use. Those affected by use disorders that stem from prescription drug use often require treatment and recovery services. Safe disposal of prescription drugs impacts overdose rates and might just prevent new cases of addiction.

National DEA Rx Take Back Day 2019

prescription drugs Take-Back Day

Two times a year, thousands of DEA-sponsored Take Back sites materialize across the country. Sanctioned locations are relatively easy to find, and those working at disposal sites will not inquire about the origin of the drugs. Anonymity should allay most people’s fears about disposing of medicines that are not acquired legally. It is not uncommon for people in recovery to discover drugs leftover from their using days.

The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicates that 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The report shows that more than half of misused prescription medicines were obtained from family and friends. Moreover, the majority of Americans using heroin report misusing prescription opioids first.

Nonmedical prescription drug use can be a causal sequence toward addiction and is life-threatening. Each pill safely disposed of is one less overdose opportunity, potentially. Please watch the short PSA below:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

At Hope By The Sea, we ask people around the country to recognize the dangers of prescription drugs and take precautions. Please mark your calendars for April 27, 2019, at 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. To find a collection site near you, please click here.

Since 2010, the DEA has collected 10,878,950 pounds of prescription drugs. In October 2018 alone, Take Back locations amassed a total of 457.12 tons of unwanted medication. This weekend, Americans have an opportunity to set a new record.

California Addiction Treatment Center

If nonmedical prescription drug use is negatively affecting your life, then it’s possible you have a use disorder. Please contact Hope By The Sea for further evaluation and to determine if you can benefit from treatment. A team member is available to answer any of your questions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The miracle of addiction recovery can be yours too.