October 25, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing
Saturday, October 27, 2018, 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 475 tons—nearly 1 million pounds—of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 6,000 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 Board of Pharmacy has also launched an online drug take-back tool to help consumers looking for a place to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
Safe Prescribing Resources
The California Medical Association’s safe prescribing resource page includes the most current information and resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose. There you will find:
- Resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose
- CMA’s white papers on prescribing opioids
- Links to relevant documents in CMA’s health law library
- Continuing medical education courses and webinars
- Current information on the state's prescription drug monitoring database