October 24, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

ADMH Encourages People to Take Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs this Saturday, October 26

MONTGOMERY – ADMH is encouraging the public to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by safely discarding of unwanted and unused prescription drugs at collection sites throughout the state. Take Back Day will be held this Saturday, October 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Local collection sites can be found by visiting www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

This effort represents the seventh opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The DEA, as well as state and local law enforcement, collaborate to offer the initiative.

Last April, 58 Alabama law enforcement agencies collected nearly 6,000 pounds of unwanted, expired, or unused prescription drugs in one day. Each event grows with more participation from law enforcement, community organizations, and individual citizens. In the six previous Take Back Day events, more than two million pounds of pills have been collected nationally.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety and health hazards.

Alabama’s youth ages 12 to 17 have exceeded national average estimates for past year nonmedical use of prescription painkillers since SAMHSA began reporting that data in 2002, and drug availability is a recognized risk factor for adolescent substance abuse. Take Back Day is one way to ensure prescription drugs do not end up in the wrong places. It offers a quick, safe and secure method of disposal.

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RESOURCES

For more information about the National Take Back initiative, visit the DEA’s website at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

For information regarding substance abuse services in the state of Alabama, visit ADMH’s website at www.mh.alabama.gov, or call 334-242-3961.


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