Local Agencies are Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

DEA Take Back, Square October 2018.png

On Saturday, October 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Buckeye Hills Regional Council will partner with the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public its 16th opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Buckeye Hills at 1400 Pike Street in Marietta or to other local participating agencies, like the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“Offering our parking lot as a drop-off location is a continuation of the ongoing partnership that we’ve developed with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office through the Project Lifesaver program. It only seems natural that we would offer our easy access parking lot as a site. We’ve partnered with the WCSO as long as they have been doing the drug takeback days,” shares Cathy Ash, Buckeye Hills Program Manager.

Last spring, U.S. Americans turned in nearly 475 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,700 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 10 million pounds—nearly 5,000 tons—of pills.

For Buckeye Hills, this initiative aligns closely to a mission focused on increasing the quality of life for residents in southeast Ohio. Specifically, the regional council’s status as the designated Area Agency on Aging compels staff to advocate for the needs of seniors in the region.

“The impact of prescription drug abuse is huge in southeast Ohio. This abuse not only affects the abuser, but it affects the abusers’ families and extended support networks. Seniors in particular are at risk of abusing themselves or having caretakers or family steal their needed, prescribed medications to sell or abuse themselves. If individuals know that seniors are receiving opioids or narcotics, this puts the senior at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation,” said Ash.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27th Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.