WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Emergency Physicians, a national sponsor of the American Medicine Chest Challenge, is educating the public about safe disposal of expired, unused and unwanted medications in order to reduce the likelihood of drug abuse or accidental overdose. A recent study reports that prescription drugs were involved in more than 20,000 overdose deaths in 2008, more than half of the total 36,450 overdose deaths that year.
"Emergency physicians treat patients harmed by medication every day, which is why we recommend everyone safely dispose of drugs they aren't using," said ACEP president David Seaberg, M.D., FACEP. "This is a good time to survey your home for medications that may be sitting in a cabinet or on a bedside table that you no longer need. That includes over-the-counter medications as well as prescriptions."
The drug disposal event will take place on November 12, 2011, in 44 states, the District of Columbia and two Native American nations. Everyone should take the five-step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
In areas without an American Medicine Chest Challenge disposal site, people should follow federal guidelines for safe disposal of prescription medications:
"Accidental drug poisonings of children, which are preventable emergencies, are another great reason to take stock of the medicines around your house," said Dr. Seaberg. "If you don't need a medication, then your child doesn't need it either."
A study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine in 2008 reported that nearly 10,000 very young children accidentally ingested opiates prescribed for adults in their household between 2003 and 2006.
ACEP is a national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.
|SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)|
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