The benefit of everything is determined by dosage.  Even water, a critical element for life, is bad for the human body when you have too much.  But when it comes to prescription drugs, the dosage is incredibly important.  Doctors spend years learning about which medications work for what and how much is the right dose.  Lots of us think that we know what’s best for our bodies and we keep around medication from previous visits to the doctor – just in case we need it.  That can be really dangerous for us and for others in the house.  Small children might think the pills or medicine is candy… older children might try experimenting or their friends may steal it from your medicine cabinet. 

That’s why days like this Saturday are important for getting rid of mediation you aren’t currently prescribed.  There are more than 90 locations across Arizona that will let you drop off those medications from 10 am to 2 pm.  It’s hosted by the Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement.  Just go to the DEA’s website and click on the “Got Drugs” button.  From there you can put in your zip code to find the closest place to you.

Reducing substance abuse is one of our five winnable battles in Arizona.  We turned a corner a few years ago when the number of drug-related deaths passed the number of people who die in car accidents.  We joined several other state agencies in a Prescription Drug Reduction Initiative.  Part of effort includes the installation of permanent drug drop boxes were installed in three counties: Yavapai (5), Pinal (7) and Graham (4). Besides the boxes tied to the Initiative, there are permanent drug drop boxes in Greenlee County and Cochise County. These boxes aren’t the only thing the initiative is doing…  last summer we held a forum to talk about prescription drugs and how people get them.  We’ve created some great tools for emergency rooms based on what we learned there.  Stay tuned for that.

When you make your honey do list for the weekend activities, think about adding “drug drop off” to the list.