got-drugs-buttonAbuse of prescription drugs is a public health epidemic, but you can do your part in helping to curb access to prescription drugs with one simple step: get rid of your old and unused medications.  This weekend is the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held by the DEA and state and local partners.  Removing unused prescription drugs from your home is important because it can help reduce the number of accidental poisonings and can limit the access to drugs that people abuse.  Each year in Arizona more than 2,000 kids were sent to the emergency room from accidental poisonings.

The Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. There are more than 100 drop-off sites across the state, and you can find a location near you by visiting the DEA website

If you can’t get to a site on Saturday, there are other ways to properly dispose of unused medications. There are several permanent drop boxes where you can dispose of medications that you can find by visiting the Arizona Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative.  You can also mix your unused medications in a plastic bag with undesirable materials, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter and then throw it in the trash. If you throw the medication in the trash without destroying them, they can be retrieved and sold – if you flush them down the toilet, they can contaminate our water supply.  Take some time this weekend to go through your medicine cabinets and get rid of all your unused medications that can be a danger to our family, friends, and community.