National Drug Take Back Day

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April 28th is “National Drug Take Back Day” and is an easy way for Seniors to contribute to the fight against drug abuse in our society. The official website, “Take Back Day” shares:

“According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.”

Prescription drug abuse is a significant concern and multigenerational. How much do you really know about prescription drug abuse? The statistics reveal the following about prescription drug abuse (

· Prescription drug abuse causes the largest percentage of deaths from drug overdosing. Of the 22,400 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2005, opioid painkillers were the most commonly found drug, accounting for 38.2% of these deaths.

· Every day in the US, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time.

· Depressants, opioids and antidepressants are responsible for more overdose deaths (45%) than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and amphetamines (39%) combined.

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However, the DEA’s ‘National Take Back Drug” Day is reducing the opportunity by removing unused and expired medications. As, we Spring clean, add a trip to your local National Take Back Drug Day to your list. Become a part of the solution. We have several local locations participating in the program, but what is the proper way to expose of medications if there is not a local location?

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When disposing of medication, when there is no local take-back program, DEA-authorized collectors and/or no detailed instructions for disposal on the label; the following steps are suggested by

1. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;

2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag

3. Throw the container in your household trash;

4. Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.

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By properly disposing of unwanted medications, the EPA shares on their website has additional positive effects:

· Prevents poisoning of children and pets

· Avoids health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medicine, or a medicine too old to work well

· Keeps medicines from entering streams and rivers.

One last tip from the EDA website:

“Don’t flush the prescriptions or pour them down the drain. This action can cause more harm. The medication can end up in our water drinking sources. The drugs can seep into the water where septic tanks are used. Live within a city or town with a waste water treatment plant. Still don’t flush those medicines, they can pass through the majority of treatment systems and then enter rivers and lakes, because the treatment plants are not equipped to remove medicines.”

With a small act, we can each play a large part in removing unwanted and expired prescription medications from unauthorized hands.


Reference: National Take Back Day

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Accessed on: April 20, 2018.

Reference: The Truth About Prescription Drug Use

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Accessed on April 20, 2018.

Reference: How to Dispose of Medicines Properly

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Accessed on: April 20, 2018.

Reference: Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know

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Accessed on: April 20, 2018.

Reference Photo One: Take Back Day Photo

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Accessed on April 20, 2018.

Reference Photo Two: Take Back Day Photo Two

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Accessed on April 20, 2018.

Reference Photo Three: Partner in Aging Take Back Day Flyer

Accessed: Private Email

Accessed on April 24, 2018.

Reference Photo Four: Disposal of Unused Medicine Chart

Accessed at

Accessed on: April 20, 2018.

Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of the Cardinal Institute for Health Career’s blog is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

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