-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Do you have any expired or
unused prescription medicines cluttering up your medicine cabinet?
You can get rid of them safely and quickly at sites across the
United States during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on
The free and anonymous service will be available at thousands of
locations across the United States, with collection sites open from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) said in a news release.
Soaring rates of abuse of prescription drugs -- especially
painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin -- are a key reason for
the annual event. Abuse rates in the United States are alarmingly
high, the DEA said, with 6.8 million Americans abusing prescription
drugs -- nearly twice as many as those using cocaine, heroin,
inhalants and hallucinogens combined.
Studies also show that most abused prescription drugs are
obtained from family and friends, including those lifted from home
During the six previous drug take-back days, people turned in
nearly 2.8 million pounds of prescription drugs, the DEA said. Last
year, more than 5,800 collection sites were operated by more than
4,300 of the agency's law enforcement partners.
To find a collection site near you during this year's event, you
can go to the
websiteor call 1-800-882-9539.
One expert said Prescription Drug Take-Back Day targets a very
"The abuse of prescription medication is one of the biggest drug problems in the United States today," said Sheila Brocavich, an assistant clinical professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John's University in New York City.
"It's very important for parents to talk with the kids in their lives about the danger of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and by safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications," Brocavich said in a university news release.
Brocavich offered some tips to help prevent prescription-drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about how to
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