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Updated: March 24, 2022

It’s Almost Time for National Take Back Day Again!

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice per year, and it is vitally important that anyone with old drugs uses this as an opportunity to dispose of old medication properly. As we discussed in our October Take Back Day blog, most misused prescription drugs can be traced back to friends and families.

The terrifying thing is that most of these friends and family members had no idea they were providing the substance. Think about it: If your leftover Vicodin from ten years ago suddenly goes missing from your medicine cabinet, will you realize it? For most people, the answer is no.

Teens are especially susceptible to prescription drug abuse.

SAMHSA reports that 5,700 teens and young people used prescription pain killers for the first time in 2014 without having a prescription for the substance. Some may believe that prescription drugs aren’t as harmful as illegal drugs because they are regulated. However, every drug comes with the risk of short-term and long-term side effects, and these risks increase astronomically when the substance is misused.

Stimulants can affect the brain in a way that’s similar to cocaine. Opioids react similarly to heroin, and depressants can create issues similar to alcohol. Dependence is always a risk, and when prescription drugs run out, users often turn to their street drug counterparts as an alternative.

SAMHSA’s advice to help prevent prescription drug abuse includes education, prescription drug monitoring, and proper medication storage and disposal.

Kids, teens, and even parents can benefit from education on the dangers of prescription drug use on developing brains. Prescription drug monitoring holds doctors and pharmacists accountable for overprescribing drugs and identifying cases of overprescribed drugs. Proper medication storage and disposal means keeping your drugs locked safely away and taking advantage of initiatives like National Take Back Day.

National Take Back Day focuses on prevention.

Twice per year, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration works with organizations nationwide to collect old prescription medications, no questions asked. To date, this initiative has succeeded in getting over 15.2 million pounds of prescription meds out of people’s homes.

In San Diego, you can find a drive-thru location and take any old medication, even vaping equipment (as long as the batteries are removed). Last October, there were 19 locations available in the county, and while we’re waiting for confirmation of sites this year, we know the event will run from 10 am-2 pm.

You cannot dispose of syringes or illegal drugs during this event.

National Take Back Day isn’t just about taking back prescription drugs.

It’s about taking back control of our nation’s health. One quick trip to a Take Back Day location near you could save a loved one from becoming another victim of the opioid epidemic.

To learn more about the opioid epidemic, read Scott H. Silverman’s latest book on the subject.

To find a Take Back Day location near you, visit the DEA website.

And remember: if you missed participating in the official Take Back Day, there are collection stations open year-round.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Contact your crisis coach, Scott Silverman, by dialing 619-993-2738.

(c) 2022 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.


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