It is rare these days when reading a newspaper or magazine to not come across a story about the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that is devastating families across the country. The scourge of opioid use is unprecedented in modern times, and health organizations and lawmakers continue to search for effective solutions to the problem. Every day, 44 people in the U.S. die from prescription opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Keeping prescription opioids out of the hands of teenagers and young adults is ever important; exposure to such drugs can result in addiction and/or overdose. For over a decade, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has held the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On such days, individuals can safely dispose of unused and unwanted medications that may otherwise end up in the wrong hands. On September 26, 2015, the agency reported that its take-back sites collected more than 350 tons (702,365 pounds) of unneeded medications.
The DEA is not alone; other organizations are hard at work to reduce prescription drug misuse as well. On Saturday, November 14 the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) will hold the sixth-annual National Day of Awareness and Safe Disposal, according to a news release. The initiative is calling on Americans to safely dispose of their unwanted medications at more than 1,500 Rx permanent collection sites throughout the country.
You can find a directory of collection sites on the AMCC website or download the organizations free app: AMCC Rx Drop. The AMCC also provides prescription drug abuse prevention information on their website.
Families are being called upon to take the 5-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
(1) Take inventory of their prescription and over-the-counter medicine
(2) Secure their medicine
(3) Dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in their home or at an AMCC disposal site
(4) Take their medicine(s) exactly as prescribed
(5) Talk to their children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
If you are or a loved one is abusing prescription opioids, please contact Harmony Foundation to begin the journey of recovery. Harmony is a state-of-the-art, affordable, residential addiction treatment program located in the Rocky Mountains.
Addiction and recovery news provided by Harmony Foundation.