Antioch Police Department Installs New Medicine Collection Unit

The Antioch Police Department held a ribbon cutting ceremony at their station on Saturday, September 29th, commemorating the installation of a new medicine collection unit and the initiation of their permanent drop off program. This event was held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s fifth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, creating a public health crisis and harming our environment. The number of people aged 18 to 25 who reported using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past month was 1.7 million in 2011, according to a study published this week by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The same study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In response to what the Centers for Disease Control (CDD) has described as our nation’s prescription drug epidemic, the DEA has been conducting national Take Back days every six months or so to help educate the public about how important it is to purge their medicine cabinets of unwanted and expired drugs, and to dispose of them responsibly. Americans participating in DEA’s four previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 1.6 million pounds—almost 774 tons—of prescription drugs. DEA’s last event in May collected more than double the pills as their first one two and a half years ago.

With a permanent drug collection unit being installed at the Antioch Police Station, community members in Antioch and surrounding communities will now be able to drop off their medications Monday through Thursday, from 9:00am to 1:00 pm.

I can’t stress enough how important it is, especially for parents, to lock up their medications and dispose of those they no longer need as a matter of habit,” said April Rovero, Founder/CEO of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA). “Parents can unwittingly become their child’s drug supplier, with devastating consequences.”

The new drug collection unit was gifted to the Antioch Police Department by NCAPDA, and made possible by the generous donation to NCAPDA by the makers of the box, MedReturn. www.medreturn.com/drug-collection-unit.php.

Members of the Antioch community are encouraged to drop off their unused and expired medications there. Those who live outside the Antioch area can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov and clicking the “Got Drugs?” banner, which links to a database where they can enter their zip code.

Prescription drug disposal and the DEA’s Take-Back events are significant pieces of the White House’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan released last year by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. The other strategies include education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth; establishing prescription drug monitoring programs in all states; and increased enforcement to address doctor shopping and pill mills.

To learn more about the prescription drug abuse epidemic and what parents can do to keep their families safe, visit http://www.ncapda.org and http://www.medicineabuse.org.

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