Prescription drugs can be safe and effective at treating illnesses and conditions, but they can also be tempting for experimental teens, and misuse and abuse of narcotic prescriptions is a growing and now urgent problem.  Powerful prescription drugs are often available and easily accessible in many, if not most, homes and many parents don’t recognize that these (sometimes dangerous) unused meds can be tempting for teens.  They’re often easily accessible in home medicine cabinets, and hundreds Arizonans face the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse every day.

In 2009, more than 1,100 Arizonans died from drug poisoning, which is more than the number of Arizonans that die in car accidents every year.  Opioids (such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and other synthetic narcotics) were responsible for most drug overdoses. Our drug-related death statistics for 1985-2009 are available online.  Parents of teens should really pay attention to what they have around the house, and this weekend is your perfect opportunity to clean up.

This Saturday the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)  and its state & local partners are sponsoring the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at dozens of sites all across Arizona.  The idea is to encourage folks to turn in their unused prescription drugs for proper disposal.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. At last year’s event Arizonans turned in more than 3 tons prescription drugs at nearly 75 sites. On Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. DEA and its partners will open collection sites.  There are dozens of drop-off sites that will be open Saturday, you can find the location nearest you by visiting the DEA Site Locator.