|BMH-UC designated as prescription drug drop-off location |
|Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:00 pm |
| Baptist Memorial Hospital-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. |
This is a great opportunity for those residents who missed previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.
The American people responded overwhelmingly to the DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in April, turning in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the four Take-Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation.
Here, where the local hospital, the Obion County Prevention Coalition, the Union City Police Department and the DEA sponsor the project, a total of 24,864 doses have been collected during two collection periods. In October 2011, 21 pounds were collected, including 801 doses of controlled substances. In April, 78 pounds were collected and included 1,849 doses of controlled substances.
Saturday’s take-back program is free and anonymous. Residents can simply pull up to the collection site at the hospital’s main entrance and hand over their prescriptions to law enforcement agents. They don’t even have to get out of their vehicles, local officials said. Once collected, the prescription drugs will be logged in and safely destroyed.
The take-back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the attorney general to accept them. The act also allows the attorney general to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Union City Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events.
Published in The Messenger 9.27.12