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Trust for America's Health Statement on The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 26
Date:10/23/2013

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., executive director of Trust for America's Health (TFAH), on the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 26, which promotes the return of unused medications for safe disposal and helps reduce the potential for family and friends to have access to and misuse medications prescribed to others.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100204/TFAHLOGO)

"One of the best ways to limit the scope of the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States is by getting unneeded drugs off the streets and out of medicine cabinets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nationally, sales of prescription painkillers per capita have quadrupled since 1999 – and so have overdose deaths from prescription painkillers.  Enough painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult continually for a month.

Many Americans are not aware of the serious health hazards that prescription drugs can pose when not used properly – but they are deadly serious.  Deaths from prescription drugs now outnumber heroin, cocaine and even motor-vehicle fatalities.

Take-back days are one of the most effective strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse and misuse.  More than half of people who misuse prescription drugs report that they took pills that were actually prescribed to a friend or family member. 

Take-back programs allow people to get extra and unused medications out of their medicine cabinets – which helps prevent the possibility that they will be misused. When take-back days occur, they are successful. For example, in 2010, the

SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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