With National Drug Take-Back Day coming up (Sept 27), the US government has announced it has found a way to enable drug-dispensing locations like pharmacies and nursing homes to become drug disposal drop-off locations as well. Finally!

New regulations have been passed to make every pharmacy and hospital a safe place to return unneeded, unwanted, expired or excess pharmaceuticals for safe disposal. This is a great way to help remove dangerous addictive substances from circulation.

One of the common sources of  prescription drugs used by people addicted to opiates and opioids, is the medicine cabinet. Doctors and dentists prescribe drugs like Percocet for pain following a procedure or an injury, advising patients to take “as needed” for pain. Often some or all of these addicting medications are not needed by the patient, and remain in the medicine cabinet.

Medicine cabinets are one of the first locations raided by burglars because pills can be sold for cash on the black market. We have seen reports of realtors hosting Open House events, only to discover visitors had come in not to preview the home that was for sale, but to raid the medicine cabinet for prescription opioids like Vicodin, Percocet, or other forms of hydrocodone and oxycodone.

The National Take Back day is a program aimed at removing these unwanted drugs from circulation. On one day of each year, Police departments accept drugs for safe disposal. It has been very successful, but limited to the one day or a few days during the year.

This new change will take effect October 9, 2014. We will be advising people to simply “return the pills to any pharmacy – they will take it back for safe disposal”. This is a very welcome improvement.

  • The Attorney General announcement (video) http://www.justice.gov/agwa.php
  • Press Releases on Drug Take-Back days http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/newsrelease.htm
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