The seventh National Drug Take-Back Day hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local communities throughout the country, will be held tomorrow, Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10AM-2PM local time.  Marylanders are able to take any unwanted prescription medications to State Police Barracks for proper disposal.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control has provided a website with all the information you could need and it gives you a tool for finding a collection site near you.  This program allows citizens to dispose of all unused, expired or simply unwanted prescription medications safely and conveniently while at the same time educating the public about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

The misuse of prescription drugs is a huge problem being faced by this country and one that cannot be ignored.  How many of you right now have a medicine cabinet containing old and unused prescription medications that if put in the wrong hands could have catastrophic consequences? If you are one of them, you’re not alone, most of us do.  Putting them in the trashcan or flushing them down the toilet can have adverse environmental effects and are not considered safe methods of disposal.  That is why collection events like this one are held; it gives the public an appropriate and responsible way to get all of those drugs out of their medicine cabinets.

So far these programs have been enormously successful.  According the Maryland State Police website,”Locally during the last initiative in April 2013, troopers collected over 1,200 pounds of prescription drugs. Nationally, 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications were collected… When added to the collections from the previous five events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation”.

The DEA says that these “Take-Back” events will be held every six months until a procedure can be put in place for safe and proper disposal of these dangerous chemicals.  This event just happens to coincide with a recommendation from the FDA on Thursday for the commonly prescribed painkiller Hydrocodone to be more tightly regulated.  These are all great steps forward in helping to get a handle on the abuse of prescription drugs but in order for these efforts to truly have their desired effect we all have to get involved.  Now is the time to act, before something bad happens to someone we love.

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