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Encourage your patients to participate in 'National Prescription Drug Take Back Day'

April 17, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Patient Care Patient Education 

More than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs, this according to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also revealed more than70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.


The California Medical Association (CMA) has long recognized that a comprehensive approach is needed to address this serious issue. Successfully preventing drug abuse requires a public health focus, promotion of physician education and public awareness, tools that physicians can use at the point-of-care to support medical decision-making, increased access to addiction treatment and recovery and appropriate enforcement.


Another important strategy is proper disposal of unused prescription drugs, which helps prevent abuse and helps keep pharmaceuticals out of landfills and waterways. Fortunately, more than 280 locations throughout California will be accepting unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances, as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, 2013.


The event aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications. The last National Take Back event collected 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of prescription medications from members of the public across the country.


Physicians can take action by encouraging their patients to participate. To find a Take Back Day collection site near your practice, click here.


CMA has also 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. It is available here.


CMA has a long history of working to address substance abuse issues and continues to work with policymakers, key stakeholders and the physician and health care community to identify and implement effective solutions to help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion.


Contact: Scott Clark, (916) 551-2887 or sclark@cmadocs.org.

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