National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Friday April 29, 2011

What is it?

U.S. Army has partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration in support of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, providing a venue to dispose of unused prescription drugs. This is an opportunity to remove potentially dangerous prescription drugs, particularly controlled substances, from their medicine cabinets.

Why is this important to the Army?

This is a national effort for a national problem. The potential abuse, overdose, and environmental issues of incorrect disposal of prescription drugs are serious for the entire country. Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.

The Army is supporting the National Prescription Take Back Day on Army installations through a three-pronged approach:

Army Installation Management Command - This initiative keeps the drugs out of waterways and landfills, as many unwanted prescription drugs end up in the garbage or flushed down the toilet.

Office of Provost Marshal General- Abuse of prescription pain killers ranks second behind marijuana as the Nation's most prevalent illegal drug problem. Pharmaceutical drugs taken without a prescription or a doctor's supervision can be as dangerous as taking illicit drugs

Army Medical Command - Abuse of prescription drugs is the second leading cause of accidental death and has other unintended consequences, such as increased prescription medication abuse and diversion. The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health notes most young people who misuse prescription medications obtain them from friends or family. Many medications, particularly prescription painkillers, sit unused and unsecured in medicine cabinets, making them readily available.

What has the Army done?

The Army will place collection sites where people can turn in their unused, unneeded, expired prescription medications. This service is free and anonymous. For more information on the sites see: Prescription Drug Take Back locations.

Resources:

Army Medical Command

Office of Diversion Control

Army Installation Management Command

Army Installation Management Command news page

Related article: April 30 is National Prescription Take Back Day

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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"The potential for abuse, diversion and incorrect disposal of unused or expired prescription medication is an serious issue that the military shares with the nation at large. The Army supports the Drug Enforcement Agency's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day as an important opportunity for our Soldiers and their Families to safely dispose of the medications that are currently stored in our homes and barracks. These unused or expired medications pose a real risk to our military communities."

- Col. Kevin Galloway, chief of staff, Pain Management Task Force

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