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Turn in prescription drugs Sept. 26

September 03, 2015

By Kelly Soderlund

Dentists and their patients are encouraged to return expired or unwanted prescriptions during the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back day.

The nationwide event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 26, except in Pennsylvania and Delaware, where it will be held Sept. 12. Local authorities will set up collection sites, and health professionals, can return their unwanted, unnecessary or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration news release.

"As a society, people are taking more and more prescribed medications than ever before," said Dr. Chris Smith, chair of the ADA Dental Wellness Advisory Committee. "Easier access and unintended abuse potential are making the delivery of medical and dental care more difficult. Dentists have an opportunity to help combat the prescription drug crisis in America by educating patients about the National Drug Take Back Day."

DEA.gov lists collection sites across the country.  

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, according to the DEA. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away— both potential safety and health hazards, according to the DEA.

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected.