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Drug Take Back Day set at Edwards AFB

The public can turn in old prescriptions

OW Staff Writer | 6/14/2013, midnight

Edwards AFB will give the public an opportunity to turn in expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Exchange lobby at 240 W. Fitzgerald Blvd., No. 6001, Edwards. This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue. Medicines that sit 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. Studies have shown that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from the households of family and friends. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet—pose potential safety and health hazards.

Americans that participated in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013 turned in more than 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,829 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

When the results of the five prior Take- Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners have removed 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of medication from circulation.

“With the continued support and hard work of our more than 3,945 state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners, these three events have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue,” said a representative with the base.

According to their records, last year Air Force pharmacies dispensed more than 15 million prescriptions. Due to changing health conditions, drug allergies or adverse drug reactions, beneficiaries end up with an accumulation of partially-used prescriptions.

The Take Back will accept all prescription medications, medication samples, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, medications for pets, medicated ointments and creams, inhalers, Epi-Pens and liquid medicine in their original containers.

Needles, lancets, syringes, thermometers, aerosol cans, empty containers, personal care products such as shampoo, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide and illicit substances are not allowed.

Edwards AFB asks that participants leave the labels on the bottle for medication identification purposes but to please mark out names and personal information.