The Drug Enforcement Administration doesn’t just fight the opioid crisis at U.S. ports of entry by seizing illegal drugs. It’s National Drug Take-Back Day events across the country on April 27 collect unused prescription pills and patches to help prevent drug abuse and overdose deaths.
The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs — mostly painkillers — that year. The majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, such as taken from a home medicine cabinet, according to the DEA. National Drug Take-Back Day aims to eliminate unused pills in homes as a means for opioid abuse.
Don’t Let Your Unused Prescriptions Fall into the Wrong Hands
The 2019 National Drug Take-Back Day theme, “Don’t Be the Dealer,” highlights how everyone can help prevent opioid abuse by responsibly disposing of unused prescriptions. Lost or stolen prescription opioids can be misused, shared, or sold illegally, perpetuating opioid abuse. Some people suffering from opioid use disorder seek out opportunities to pilfer prescription opioid pills from friends and family members. If people keep prescriptions stored away where others cannot easily access them and dispose of unused pills responsibly, they can prevent pills from being misused.
Initiatives such as Drug Take-Back Day are designed to complement efforts to get prescription and illicit opioids off the street. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths per year, currently at 70,000. More than 47,000 overdose deaths in 2017 involved opioids.
“Over the last two years, our nationwide Drug Take-Back Day has recovered 3.7 million pounds of prescriptions drugs,” said President Donald Trump at the 2019 Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit on April 24. “One of the most important steps to ending the opioid crisis is to prevent young people from ever using drugs in the first place.”
Where to Drop Off Your Unused Prescriptions on Drug Take-Back Day
By participating in an event like Drug Take Back Day, you can make sure your unused opioids don’t fall into the wrong hands. All drop-offs are anonymous.
What you can drop off:
- Unused or expired prescription pills
- Unused or expired prescription patches
What you can’t drop off:
- Illicit drugs
- Asthma inhalers
- Medications containing iodine
Where to drop off your unused prescriptions:
You can look up the nearest location participating in Drug Take-Back Day by using the DEA’s drug collection site locator. If you miss the event, which is held twice a year, you can find a year-round drug disposal location using the Diversion Control Division’s controlled substance public disposal location finder.
If you can’t make it to any designated dropoff location, read the FDA’s guidelines for disposing of medications in the trash or by flushing them down the toilet. Some controlled substances present an environmental safety hazard, so don’t just toss them out without looking up how to properly and safely discard them.
Learn About Medical Detox Treatment for Opioid Dependence
National Drug Take-Back Day also provides an opportunity for people to learn about treatment options for opioid use disorder. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid dependence, you can find resources at Drug Take-Back Day events and online.
One such option is medical detoxification. Medical detoxification, such as the Waismann Treatment™, is a safe and effective option for many people when it is performed correctly by a medical doctor.
Waismann Method® Medical Opiate Detox
Waismann Method® is the only provider of the Waismann Treatment™ and is one of the originators of anesthesia-assisted opiate detoxification. The medical director conducts a comprehensive medical evaluation of each patient to tailor the medical protocol to the individual’s health needs. Anesthesia-assisted rapid detox and inpatient medically assisted detox options are available depending on the patient’s medical and opioid use history. The treatments are performed by a quadruple board-certified medical doctor with decades of experience treating opioid dependence.
The Waismann Detox™ offers several benefits and options that other treatment programs do not. It lessens the discomfort and duration of acute withdrawal. In the anesthesia-assisted opiate detox, the patient is sedated during the withdrawal so that they have no recollection of the detoxification when they wake up.
Unlike other forms of medically assisted detox, the Waismann Treatment™ is designed to get patients completely off of opioids. No replacement drugs such as methadone or Suboxone are used. When medically appropriate, patients are given FDA-approved, non-addictive, non-opioid medications to prevent cravings after detox.
Waismann Method® offers superior medical care in a full-service, JCAHO-accredited hospital. Its doctors and staff also provide patients with professional care during the challenging post-detox transitional phase at its recovery center. The Waismann Detox™ takes less than two hours. The entire treatment, including recovery, can be completed in five to 10 days. Extended stays at the recovery center are also available.
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, CATC, Founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence
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