|Prescription drug take-back program includes dropoff point at BMH-UC |
|Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 9:03 pm |
| By KEVIN BOWDEN |
Baptist Memorial Hos-pital-Union City has been designated a drop-off site for a prescription drug take-back program set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
Last year, there were two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. In April, about 188 tons of prescription drugs were turned in at nearly 5,400 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Agency. In September, an estimated 121 tons of prescription drugs were turned in at 4,700 sites nationwide, according to information provided by Lorraine Gossett-Beachum, chairman of the drug take-back program for the Obion County Prevention Coalition.
The local coalition is working with the local hospital, the Union City Police Department and the DEA on the project.
This is the first time for a drug take-back program to be held in Obion County.
It is the goal of the initiative to give area residents the opportunity to properly dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, according to Mrs. Beachum.
Saturday’s take-back program is free and anonymous.
Those who bring their unwanted prescription drugs to the local hospital can drive through the main entrance and just hand over their prescriptions to law enforcement agents.
The prescription drugs will be logged in and safely destroyed, according to Mrs. Beachum.
“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” a news release provided by Mrs. Beachum states. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescriptions drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”
Mrs. Beachum said studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Flushing prescription drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards, she said.
The prescription drug take-back program was first introduced in September 2010, then four days later Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010. That act allows an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the U.S. Attorney General to accept them.
Mrs. Beachum said the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
About 2,500 teenagers us prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
Published in The Messenger 10.25.11