The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which was scheduled for April 25, had to be postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
During this event, collection sites are established across the country for people to dispose of prescription medications. This provides a safe and convenient way for these drugs to be discarded by health care professionals.
“The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hosts a no-questions asked National Prescription Drug Take Back event twice per year. On this day, temporary collection sites are set up in local cities throughout the nation for safe disposal of prescription drugs, including opioids,” according to information on the website for Drug.com. “Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in the U.S. and remains a top public health concern. Consumers should dispose of expired, unwanted or unused medicines as quickly as possible to help reduce accidental or intentional overdoses or illegal abuse. The DEA’s Take Back initiative is one of several strategies to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion in the nation.”
The DEA announced that the Take Back Day will be rescheduled once we get through the pandemic. In the meantime, a local organization is helping people dispose of their prescription drugs in a responsible way.
Members of the United Prevention Coalition of Lewis County are distributing Deterra medicine disposal bags. The group approved spending $3,900 in April to buy five cases of the bags.
“The Deterra medicine disposal bags offer a safer alternative to flushing or simply tossing expired/unused medications,” coalition coordinator Cassie Forbus said in a story published May 11 in the Watertown Daily Times. “As more people are home, youth have easier access to medications, and these bags may help to prevent overdoses from occurring.”
UP! Coalition of Lewis County members partnered with the Lewis County Office for the Aging to dispense about 250 of these bags to home-delivered meal clients. They hope to pass more out to “rural community health clinics, doctor’s offices, urgent cares and possibly some churches to distribute,” Ms. Forbus said.
This is a tremendous service by the UP! Coalition of Lewis County. It’s another example of Northern New York residents stepping forward to make sure their friends and neighbors are taken care of during these trying times.