By Leslie Sweeney, IMCOM Army Substance Abuse ProgramSeptember 5, 2014
SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 11, 2014) -- Nearly one out of 20 Soldiers misuse painkillers, says the website Army Thin Line.
The website is part of a campaign designed to educate Soldiers, their friends and families and the provider community about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Army Thin Line encourages safe and responsible decisions when using prescription drugs with the goal of reducing the prevalence of prescription drug misuse and abuse in the Army community. The U.S. Army and the Department of Defense support this initiative.
According to the website, it's not always easy to know if you have crossed the line from proper use to misuse when taking prescription drugs. Misuse is taking a medication in a way not directed by your doctor, but still trying to treat a condition or symptom for which the medication was originally prescribed. Abuse is--taking the medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor, or for the experience or feeling of getting high.
U.S. Army Installation Management Command garrisons are committed to a drug-free community. Many garrisons participate in The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The semi-annual event aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means for disposing of prescription drugs while educating the public about the potential for abuse.
National Prescription Take-Back Day, an initiative of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, started in 2010. It encourages American citizens to turn in unused or expired prescribed medications at designated locations for proper disposal.
The next Take-Back Day takes place Sept. 27.
Army installations across the United States are partnering with the U.S. DEA and state and local law enforcement agencies.
"We are very pleased that our garrisons to include Alaska and Hawaii have participated in National Prescription Take-Back Day," said Pamela Budda, IMCOM Army Substance Abuse Program chief, "and made the take-back day events a big success."
IMCOM garrisons have participated in seven National Prescription Take Back Days so far, resulting in the safe collection and disposal of over 32,000 pounds of prescription drugs.
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.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Soldiers, Families and Civilians to safely dispose of their medications," said Budda. "I encourage all of you to support your local National Prescription Take-Back Day collection site and turn in your unused and unwanted medications. Help us eliminate the risk of prescription drug abuse or accidental poisoning."
Each garrison's ASAP program will serve as the installation point of contact and coordinate proper medication handling and disposal. Installations will have certified law enforcement personnel present at drop-off locations for the duration of National Prescription Take Back Day activities.
For more information about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day or to find a drop-off location, visit the DEA Web site at: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html or contact your local Army Substance Abuse Program representative.
Additionally, ASAP encourages everyone to visit It's a Thin Line for additional resources for dealing with prescription drug use, misuse and abuse at https://www.armythinline.org.