The semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is just weeks away, occurring Saturday, September 27th from 10 am to 2 pm. In the last four years this event, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has collected millions of pounds of prescription drugs in an effort to provide a safe way to dispose unused or expired prescription drugs. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, has been on the rise in the last decade, leading to a significant amount of both intentional and accidental overdoses. We’ve come to realize that there needs to be a system in place that provides a safeguard against this non-discriminatory problem because it continues to claim countless lives each year either by death or addiction.
It has become a top priority for national policy makers and our state leaders to reduce availability to these dangerous medications. The DEA has made disposal of prescription drugs a priority, announcing Monday, that they will allow unused narcotics, stimulants and depressants to be returned to authorized collectors either by mail or in person. This policy also gives long-term impatient facilities authorization to do so on behalf of residents or former residents. This program is voluntary for some DEA registrants, such as treatment programs, pharmacies, manufacturers, hospitals/clinics with onsite pharmacies; for those who do agree to participate they are required to permanently destroy them. Flushing medication never has been a solution for professionals nor should it be for consumers, as it poses significant harm to our environment. In addition, nurses, aids As Oklahomans, we have begun to tackle this epidemic in our state with legislation, education and other reforms, let us continue to fight the good fight and encourage the pharmacies in our community to join this program. Together we can create a brighter future for Oklahoma by reducing the incidence of prescription drug abuse.