With the opioid crisis impacting multiple aspects of many Americans’ lives, it takes a comprehensive approach to address this epidemic. Pharmacies, law enforcement agencies and government organizations hold drug take back days to promote safe diversion of opioids and other prescriptions. These events serve as one way that communities work towards safe opioid use.
What Is a Drug Take Back Day?
Drug take back days allow people to safely dispose of prescription drugs like opioids. Participants visit the event’s collection site to get rid of any unused or unwanted prescriptions. The event coordinators then dispose of the drugs using the proper procedures.
Across the United States, drug take back days happen on community and national levels. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hosts the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day twice every year to reduce opioid misuse. Organizations also hold their own drug take back days independent of the national event.
Benefits of Prescription Drug Take Back Days
Prescription disposal days provide a variety of advantages to their communities, including:
Safe Drug Disposal
By making it easier for patients to dispose of unneeded medicine, drug take back days promote safe drug disposal. Many medications have specific disposal requirements for ensuring patient safety. However, a patient may not know how to get rid of their medicine safely or lack the required resources. Drug take back days help communities keep drugs out of unintended places through proper disposal.
Increased Community Awareness
Many drug take back day events include educational elements that raise awareness of addiction and proper medicine disposal. Patients who do not know how to get rid of their medication safely can learn about their available options. Community members can also discover the connection between drug disposal habits and drug misuse risks.
In addition to assisting people, drug take back days help the environment. Many patients who don’t know how to correctly dispose of their medication may flush it down the sink or toilet. However, the government only recommends this method for a select number of drugs because of its environmental impact. Drug take back days keep medications out of plumbing systems for cleaner water.
Why Drug Disposal Days Are Critical
Due to opioid addiction’s prevalence in the United States, many drug disposal events focus on the opioid crisis. Drug take back days address the opioid addition epidemic by keeping drugs:
- Out of homes: Keeping unused opioids in a home can increase a family’s risk of diversion. By taking unwanted opioids out of homes, drug take back days reduce the chance of them going to unintended users.
- Off the streets: By reducing the risk of diversion at home, drug take back days also help opioids stay off the illicit market.
Receive Opioid Addiction Treatment at AppleGate Recovery
If you or someone you know has an opioid addiction, AppleGate Recovery can help. We provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that involves medicine and counseling for opioid use disorder. Learn more about our services by contacting our staff online.