October 15, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Public Health
Saturday, October 28, 2017, 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. The last National Take Back event collected 450 tons of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 9,700 collection sites nationwide.
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.
The California Medical Association (CMA) has produced a flyer to educate patients about proper disposal of prescription medication and National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which can be placed in offices and waiting rooms.
This and other resources are available on CMA's safe prescribing webpage at Safe Prescribing.