With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration announces its 20th Take Back Day is scheduled for April 24th. At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
RCH is doing its part in removing unused drugs from potential mis-use by having a secure, on-site drug drop-off box located at the DWD clinic window. The public as well as RCH staff can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at this site.
Tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs can be placed in plastic bags and deposited in the RCH Drop Box. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps are not accepted.
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way RCH is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths. Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.