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Forget What You Think You Know About Prescription Drug Addiction

What image comes to mind when you hear about someone with a prescription drug addiction? Druggies breaking in to steal medication from unsuspecting elderly citizens? Corrupt doctors and pharmacists fudging numbers so they can supply addicts and get some extra cash in return? Teens buying counterfeit pills on the corner of the street?

If these situations truly encompassed prescription drug addiction, there would be far fewer affected than the 16.1 million people in the U.S. who reported misusing prescription drugs in 2020. The truth is prescription drug addiction can affect anyone. 

An addict might be the homeless man sleeping in the doorway of a downtown clothing store, which you may expect—or it might be that elderly citizen. It could be the teen who decided to take extra Adderall because his friends are doing it (we’ve all heard the peer pressure horror stories)—or the dad who hurt his back and returned to work too soon.

Prescription drug addiction does not discriminate.

And that means we can’t, either. We must stop making assumptions about what an addict looks like and start working together to solve this problem. Thinking that it only affects other people—those who don’t look or act like you—is a dangerous mistake. That kind of thinking contributes to the stigma around addiction and addicts’ reluctance to seek help. It also means you will be blindsided if prescription drug addiction ever affects your family. Unfortunately, that “if” is not very big.

According to a 2017 survey, around half of Americans know someone who is or has been addicted to drugs.

What better day to change your thinking than National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day 2022 will occur on October 29th.

The most common source of misused prescription drugs is friends and family. Most of the time, those friends and family don’t even know they’ve helped someone get a fix.

Do you have old prescription drugs in the back of your medicine cabinet? Do you know the answer for sure? Now is the time to go through your medications and find out. Then, take all of your leftover, expired, or unused drugs to the nearest collection center. Get them out of your house and the reach of your loved ones for good.

What can you do now?

  • Check with the DEA’s Take Back Day website closer to October 29th to find a collection site near you.
  • Share some of the DEA’s public service announcements on social media.
  • You don’t have to wait! Many pharmacies have a place to return old and unused prescription medication year-round.
  • If you or a loved one is dealing with prescription drug addiction, reach out to Confidential Recovery in San Diego, California. Our counselors and staff are not here to judge. In fact, many know exactly what you’re going through.

Hope and help are just a phone call away. Dial 619-452-1200 to get started on your path to recovery today.



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Scott H. Silverman
CEO / Founder
Scott found himself "hitting bottom" in 1984 and accepted that he needed help for his problem and pursued treatment and long-term recovery. After pursuing his own recovery, Scott dedicated his life to helping others who struggle with the same mental health and addiction issues that caused him so much pain. Scott has made an indelible mark on the lives of many in San Diego. He has been on KUSI dozens of times to raise awareness about the dangers that we face, and to speak a message of recovery.