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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

s-a-community-to-prevent-prescription-drug-abuse">Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Project (MAMDP) held their first take-back day and collected 500 pounds of medication. From February 2010 through January 2013, MAMDP held 11 events and collected 7,300 pounds of materials. And, since 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency has partnered with communities to hold six national take-back days, culminating in the collection of 2.8 million pounds of unused medication. With millions of pounds of medications out of homes, fewer people have access to prescription painkillers.

In addition to the one-day events, a number of states and communities have been creating ongoing take-back programs, such as by setting up drug drop boxes in police stations or mail-in programs.  This is the last year there will be federal support for take-back days, so it is important for states and local communities to find ways to continue these programs moving forward.

Take-back programs were one of several policy strategies recommended in a new report, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic that TFAH released earlier this month.  Some other important strategies to help reduce this epidemic include to:

  • Educate the public to understand the risks of prescription drug use to avoid misuse in the first place;
  • Ensure responsible prescribing practices, including increasing education of healthcare providers and prescribers to better understand how medications can be misused and to identify patients in need of treatment;
  • Increase understanding about safe storage of medication and proper disposal of unused medications, such as through take-back programs;
  • Make sure patients do receive the pain and other medications they need, and that patients have access to safe and effective drugs;
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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