September 07, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Patient Care
Saturday, October 22, 2016, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On this day, hundreds of locations throughout California will be accepting and properly disposing of unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps prevent diversion and misuse associated with these medications.
This one-day event will provide patients with free, anonymous collection of unwanted and expired medicines. During the most recent Take Back Day in April 2016, more unused prescription drugs were turned in than on any of the previous take back events since the program began in 2010. California collected more than any other state besides Texas, gathering an incredible 32 tons of unwanted medicines. Across the U.S., almost 447 tons were collected.
In addition to providing a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, the event also aims to educate the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications. A significant component of the prescription drug abuse and diversion problem stems from misuse of unused drugs.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, over 71 percent of prescription pain medications are obtained from family and friends, and 5 percent took the medication from a friend or relative without asking.
Physicians can take action by encouraging their patients to participate in Take Back Day. To find a collection site near your practice, click here.