|Drug take-back program at BMH-UC on Saturday |
|Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:04 pm |
The Obion County Prevention Coalition, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City and the Union City Police Department are once again sponsoring a drug take-back day Saturday at the local hospital.
Local residents can bring their expired, unused and unwanted drugs to the hospital between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for safe disposal.
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 drugs will be logged in and safely destroyed.
According to the coalition, 20 percent of Americans older than 12 have admitted to abusing prescription drugs. Three million teenagers will become new prescription drug abusers this year, with 56 percent of them being younger than age 18. A total of 17 percent of high school seniors have abused amphetamines. When asked how prescription narcotics were obtained for nonmedical use, 70 percent of 12th-graders said they were given them by a friend or relative.
Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision, officials said, adding “The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.”
The take-back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. According to the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency, unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply.
Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs.
The Tennessee Depart-ment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, which funds the county-level substance abuse prevention coalitions, announced 23 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events this Saturday.
There is also one being held in Weakley County at the gazebo behind the Martin Police Department.
Drug take-back events remove thousands of pounds of unused and potentially addictive medications and other substances from homes and raise awareness of permanently installed prescription drug disposal boxes in communities. The importance of removing unused medications from homes cannot be over emphasized, as more than 8,000 Tennesseans have died from drug overdoses in the past 10 years. Organizers estimate that more than 5,775 pounds of medication will be collected at these events around Tennessee.
Published in The Messenger 4.24.13