September marked the fifth time residents of the panhandle participated in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29, 2012.
The Panhandle Prevention Coalition reports that more than 400 pounds of unwanted or expired medications were collected for safe and proper disposal at the 4 take-back sites available across the Panhandle.
There were a total of 49 sites open across Nebraska with a state-wide total of 6,203 pounds of medications collected. Including the September Take Back Day, Nebraska has collected over 20,950 pounds of unwanted medication from circulation.
The American people have again responded overwhelmingly to the most recent DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On September 29, 2012, citizens turned in a 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,263 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the five Take Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 2 million pounds (1,020 tons) of medication from circulation.
According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.