This Saturday, April 27—during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day—from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide the 17th opportunity in nine years for Americans to prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion by disposing of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs at locations all across the country.
Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills.
NACDS members are also committed to being part of the solution in combatting opioid abuse. NACDS’ Community Engagement Report found that opioid-abuse prevention stands as one of the top priorities in NACDS chain members’ work to go above and beyond for the good of their communities.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. NACDS has been proactively meeting with state attorneys general across the country to emphasize the positive role pharmacy plays in opioid abuse prevention. Attorneys general express a keen interest in learning more about pharmacies’ drug-disposal initiatives, as well as public-education programs. NACDS continues to highlight the effective ways pharmacies are addressing the opioid abuse crisis in their communities to reflect the ongoing work they are accomplishing.
The DEA has collected a total of 4,982 tons of prescription drugs since the fall of 2010.
In related news, The Food and Drug Administration announced the launch of its campaign—Remove the Risk—that aligns with the timing of DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The campaign raises awareness of the serious dangers of keeping unused opioid pain medicines in the home and provides information about safe disposal of these medicines. The campaign offers free toolkit materials—public service announcements, social media images and posts, fact sheets, and more—directed at disposal of opioids in the home and the risks of keeping opioids in the home.