Friday, September 12, 2014

Prescription Drug Abuse Rising in Tippecanoe County :: DEA Now to Allow Pharmacies to Take Back Rx Drugs

The abuse of prescription medications has been on a drastic incline over the last decade and Tippecanoe County has seen multiple reports of overdose deaths due to prescription drug abuse. Perhaps a more serious trend resulting from prescription medication abuse is a shift to heroin use. Due to the high cost of prescription drugs, users are turning to heroin which is cheaper and more easily accessible. As a survey released from the Tippecanoe Coroner's Office shows, more than three times the amount of people dying from drunken driving accidents are those dying from drug overdoses. Attorney General Eric Holder in a recent press release regarding efforts to reduce the drug problem stated that “prescription drug addiction and abuse represent nothing less than a public health crisis.” 6.5 million people over the age of twelve in the United States are current users of prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. More than half of the 41,300 unintentional overdose deaths since 2011 involved prescription drugs nationwide. Holder also reported that within the last decade “the annual number of drug poisoning deaths involving heroin doubled, making prescription opioids and heroin some of the most lethal substances in common use.” Due to this severe public health problem, the Department of Justice is working to reverse this crisis extending across our nation. 

While efforts to fight against prescription drug abuse are being made on many levels, the place to begin is at home. Approximately four in ten teenagers who have used prescription drugs for abuse obtained them from their parent’s medicine cabinets. 

In response, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is expanding the means for people to dispose of their unused or expired medications:

  • Patients will be able to drop-off their prescription medications at pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and with other authorized collectors. 
  • Long-term care facilities will be able to help dispose of Rx drugs belonging to their residents or former residents.

  • Patients and their family members can mail their substances to an authorized collector using prepaid mail back packages obtained from their pharmacies.

To view the local article on Prescription drug abuse in Tippecanoe County, click here. To hear Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement, click here. The next DEA Drug Take-Back Day will be held Saturday, September 27th from 10:00am-2:00pm. View locations here.

In one day, 390 tons of prescription pills were taken back during last Aprils
National DEA Drug Take-Back.

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