Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

Summary: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day could free up some space in your medicine cabinet, and free your mind from worry about what happens to your old prescription drugs.

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TOPICS: Health
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Now that Spring has sprung, it's time to tackle that spring cleaning. Why not start with the medicine cabinet? Is it full of old prescription drugs that expired years ago, like that course of antibiotics you know you were supposed to finish but decided to quit when your symptoms went away (please, don't do that next time!), or the pain meds you ended up not taking because they made you nauseous and sleepy?

Many people don't know it, but prescription drug abuse is a rampant problem. Lots of the drugs doing the damage started out in medicine cabinets like yours and mine, and wound up in the wrong hands. Unused, unwanted, and expired prescription drugs are dangerous for many reasons.

To name just a few dangers, these drugs can contribute to medication errors when people grab the wrong bottle instead of the one they're supposed to be taking. Children can get ahold of them. Pills can be a target of theft. When improperly disposed of, such as being flushed down the toilet, these drugs wind up in our water supply.

In response to this challenge, The U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has created an annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This year's event will be the second one held. It's taking place on Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at your local time, all across America. Last year's event was very successful. 121 tons of drugs were turned in to be properly collected and disposed of.

According to the DEA, this year the event has grown. 4,700 government, community, public health, and law enforcement partners will be working together at the local level, hopefully at a site near you, to "collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous if left in the family’s medicine cabinet."

The event is free, it might free up some space in your medicine cabinet, and it'll let you free your mind from worry about what happens to your old prescription drugs. Please tweet about it, post it on Facebook, and let your friends and family free their minds, too.

If you'd like more information, visit the website for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and download the press release about the event.

Would you like to participate? Round up the unwanted prescription drugs you'd like to turn in, keep them in their original containers, black out your name with a marker, and visit the DEA's Office of Diversion Control's site search resource so you can type in your zip code and find out where to take your drugs on Saturday. Remember, folks, this event is for prescription drugs only.

While you're at it, you might want to consider finding a better place to store your current over-the-counter and prescription drugs than your medicine cabinet. Ironically, temperature and moisture variance in the bathroom makes the medicine cabinet a bad choice of location for medicine, and no one using your bathroom should be able to stumble into a misadventure with your meds.

Got drugs? Are you going to clean out your medicine cabinet and turn them in to the DEA this Saturday? Let us know in the TalkBacks below.

Topic: Health

About

Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.


Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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Talkback

16 comments
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  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    Here all along I thought the DEA can get all the drugs they want, they need. I mean with the war on drugs and all. I mean, they act like they're already "smacked" out of their skulls anyway.

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  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    Peh..... my family just flushes them down the drain.
    Lerianis10
    • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

      @Lerianis10 Lovely and contaminate our drinking water...that is very irresponsible!
      redcarpetgal
    • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

      It ends up in the water supply...
      incumudro
  • NOOOO

    Save them when you need them, when you have a bad day those vicodins come in handy.
    Hasam1991
  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    nah...I don't think so.
    sissy sue
  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    Just flush them, you might be saving someones life who needed those meds but couldn't afford them. (Sarcasm inserted here)
    trust2112@...
  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    What happens when you flush medications? The wastewater treatment center isn?t set up to filter out these drugs, so they end up in our waterways.
    inkwell
    • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

      @inkwell Which is why wastewater treatment facilities need to do more than just filter and add more chemicals to the water to make it "safe" for drinking. They need to distill it and return only the pure h2o back to the water supply. I don't drink municipal water and I'm thinking about getting my own atmospheric water generator.
      LifeSizeActionFigure
      • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

        I used to work in <a href="http://www.drugrehab.net/directory/new-york/">New York Drug Rehabilitation</a> and I have seen many drug addicts.I am sure that once you see with your own eyes then you will never put your hands on any drug.
        Aramel
  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    Why would you want to give your drugs to those spoil sports at the DEA? They even make you drop them off yourself. If you have drugs you don't want anymore, post your address, and me and my highly trained team of crackheads will be happy to come pick them up.
    lymanb@...
  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Good one Denice! What's next? Turn in your handguns?
    stillgolfing
  • Ever heard of a medicine box?

    Just lock them up in a locking medicine box that is installed in your cubbord..
    MallusLittera
  • RE: Got drugs? Spring clean and give drugs to the DEA.

    I've noticed more and more cities and towns are having these "drug drop off" drives to encourage people with medication lying around to discard it. The local fire department oversees the one we have in our town. As someone who works at <a href="http://www.non12step-rehabs.org/longterm-drug-rehab.html" rel="dofollow">non 12 step drug rehabs</a> these programs definitely cut down on drug abuse.
    richrollins
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