Drug Take-Back Day

by Capt. Richard Smith
86th Medical Support Squadron

The 86th Medical Group pharmacy will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court.

The event provides the public with an opportunity to prevent medication abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions.

Drugs_graphicFor those who are unable to participate during this time, the 86th MDG pharmacy offers daily disposal of prescriptions through their permanent take-back drop box located in the lobby of the pharmacy. All Army pharmacy facilities in Europe take discontinued, unwanted or expired prescription medications for
disposal during regular pharmacy business hours. These services are free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The Drug Enforcement Admin-istration conducts two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days per year. In April, Americans turned in 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription drugs at more than 5,829 locations. This is the seventh time the 86th MDG has participated in the National Drug Take-Back initiative.

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.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, patients are now advised that their usual methods for disposal of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

This event ensures medications are properly disposed of, minimizes impact on the environment and allows our homes and community to become safer.