2013-10-25 / Community Events

Dispose of unwanted, outdated prescription drugs

By Wesley Elliott
DDEAMC Public Affairs Officer

One of America’s leading causes of death is as close as your bathroom cabinet, kitchen or bedside table: prescription drugs. To combat this killer, Army installations to include Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center are participating in the National Prescription Drug Take- Back Day Saturday.

The national initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means for disposal of prescription drugs, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Abusing prescription medications is a leading cause of accidental death in America. It could be codeine from a root canal or vicodin for persistent back pain, but accidental overdoses can be deadly.

Prescription drug abuse is one of the nation’s most prevalent illegal drug problems and more than seven million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s national survey on drug use and health.

To address the problem and foster safe and healthy communities, Army installations across the United States are partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and state and local law enforcement agencies on Oct. 26 in support of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

On Saturday, DDEAMC will provide an anonymous return station on the 2nd floor in medical center pharmacy from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The drop off locations will be available for all active duty, family members, civilian employees, and retirees to turn in medications or prescription drugs.

The event is intended to raise community awareness and educate military communities about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and help make military installations a safer place to live and work.

Installation Management Command Garrison commanders will support the National Prescription Take-back Day to help raise public awareness of the Department of Defense’s commitment to a drug-free military community.

Leslie Sweeney, Army Substance Abuse Program for Headquarters IMCOM, stated, “We have installations throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska participating in the National Prescription Drug Take- Back Day. We hope to surpass previous years and collect and dispose of more than 5,000 pounds of unwanted, expired, and unused prescription drugs.”

Throughout the United States approximately 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies have participated in the previous two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, and the American public has turned in more than 5,000 pounds of pills and medication since the establishment of the event.

Fort Gordon’s Army Substance Abuse Program office will serve as the installation point of contact and will coordinate with the local DEA for the proper procedures of medication handling and disposal.

To find a drop-off location, visit the DEA Web site at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_ disposal/ takeback/index.html, or for more information about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, call 791-5797.

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