FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The culprit behind America's second leading cause of death isn't the result of too many cigarettes or driving recklessly. It's sitting in your bathroom cabinet, kitchen or bedside table, and you may use it every day.

Abuse of prescription drugs, whether codeine from your last root canal or vicodin for persistent back pain, stands as the second leading cause of accidental death in America. It ranks second behind marijuana as the nation's most prevalent illegal drug problem, and more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

To help address the problem and foster safe and healthy Army communities, Army installations across the United States are once again partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and state and local law enforcement agencies Saturday in support of the third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Military installations will provide drop off locations for all active duty, family members, civilian employees and retirees to anonymously turn in medications or prescription drugs. Those on Fort Jackson can turn in drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Main Exchange.

The potential abuse, overdose and environmental issues associated with the incorrect disposal of prescription drugs are serious concerns for the entire country. Unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications are also a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and a catalyst for drug abuse. Abuse of prescription painkillers ranks second behind marijuana as the nation's most prevalent illegal drug problem.

This event is a prime opportunity to raise community awareness and educate military communities on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and help make military installations a safer place to live and work.

During the most recent National Drug Take-Back Day in April, 38 collection sites at 27 installations collected and disposed of more than 1,200 pounds of unwanted, expired and unused prescription drugs, said Linda Martinez with the IMCOM Headquarters Army Substance Abuse Program.

Throughout the United States approximately 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies also participated in the previous two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. The American public has turned in more than 309 tons of pills and medication during the combined events.

For more information about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day or to find a drop-off location, visit the DEA Web site at or contact the Fort Jackson Army Substance Abuse Program office at 751-5007.

If you go

What: National Prescription Take-Back Day
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday
Where: Main Exchange
Active duty service members, family members, civilian employees and retirees can anonymously turn in any unwanted or expired medications.

Page last updated Thu October 27th, 2011 at 08:45