Do you currently have leftover or excess prescription medications in your medicine cabinet?— Recovery Centers of America (@RecoveryCOA) April 14, 2021
Recovery Centers of America recently polled Twitter users by asking “do you currently have leftover or excess prescription medication in your medicine cabinet?” What made us curious to know? An ordinary medicine cabinet happens to be a gateway for finding – and abusing – opioid medication such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people who abuse prescription opioids get them for free from a friend or relative, or take them without the person even knowing. While some people are aware of proper disposal methods, others still tend to hold on to old prescriptions.
Here’s what poll participants had to say:
Recently took old prescription meds back to our pharmacy, CVS. They accept them for safe disposal.— Uncommon Sense (@LMerritt1) April 17, 2021
Thyroid meds in a different dose. Unlikely to abuse….— Raisin Mountaineer (@raisinmountain) April 19, 2021
Thankfully, more awareness is being created around properly disposing of prescription medication sitting in medicine cabinets. Whitehouse.gov statistics said in October 2018, 4,274 law enforcement partners participated at more than 5,321 collection sites nationwide, taking in 912,305 pounds of prescription drugs—more than the weight of three Boeing 757s. These initiatives were a result of National Takeback Day, which was established in 2010 by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The need for National Takeback Day revolved around studies finding teens were abusing prescription drugs found in their parents’ medicine cabinets. Improper drug disposal also contributes to harming the environment. Recovery Centers of America along with the non-profit organization MAPDA (Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse) have supplied Deterra drug disposal bags at events throughout local communities.
National Takeback Day was postponed last April due to the pandemic and stay at home orders, but is now scheduled to take place this Saturday, April 24th. Currently, Public Service Announcements created by the DEA read headlines such as “Don’t Be The Dealer” to insinuate that keeping unused prescriptions around can lead to misuse and addiction. National Takeback Day’s official website provides a collection site locator where you can enter your state and zip code to find a drug disposal site close to your home. Click here to go directly to the website.