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President Donald J. Trump Announces Prescription Drug Take Back Day To Fight The Scourge Of Drug Abuse Across The Country

April 26, 2018

"My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need." – President Donald J. Trump

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY: A national day to ask all Americans to safely dispose of unneeded medication.

  • On National Take Back Day (Saturday, April 28, 2018), the Drug Enforcement Administration, in partnership with Federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, businesses, medical offices, federal agencies, and first responders will host events to collect and safely dispose of unneeded medication.
    • National Take Back Day happens twice per year.
  • Each Take Back Day, thousands of pounds of prescription drugs are returned, helping to prevent incidents of drug abuse and misuse across the nation.
    • According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, results from the October 2017 National Take Back Day show:
      • 4,274 law enforcement partners participated;
      • there were 5,321 collection sites; and
      • 912,305 pounds of prescription drugs were collected, more than the weight of three Boeing 757 airplanes.
  • On Take Back Day, unneeded medication can be dropped off at any one of thousands of disposal drop off sites.
  • Year-round you can drop off unneeded prescription drugs at participating Walgreens, CVS's or by ordering a free safe disposal mail-in envelopes from the National Safety Council at
    • Some retail pharmacies, such as Walgreens and Walmart, offer drug disposal programs on site.
    • A number of other retail pharmacies, such as Costco, CVS, or Rite Aid, sell postage-paid envelopes for customers to mail any prescriptions.
    • Free safe disposal mail-in envelopes are offered by the National Safety Council.

RISKS OF KEEPING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: From ingesting out-of-date prescription drugs to abuse and misuse of prescriptions, keeping unneeded prescriptions poses a number of risks.

  • Unneeded or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue.
    • Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate that nearly 19 million Americans 12 or older abused or misused prescription drugs in the past year.
    • According to the FDA, expired medical products can be less effective or risky due to a change in chemical composition.
    • Some expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth or can become ineffective, as sub-potent antibiotics can fail to treat infections- and can facilitate the spread of potentially lethal drug-resistant infections.
  • Overprescribing and stockpiling of opioids contributes to our nation's opioid epidemic.
    • The 2016 NSDUH indicated that more than 3 million people aged 12 or older were current nonmedical users of pain relievers, and that more than 11.5 million people aged 12 or older reported misuse of opioid pain relievers in the past year.
      • The economic costs associated with abuse or misuse are huge. The Council of Economic Advisors estimates that in 2015, the economic cost of the opioid crisis was $504 billion, or 2.8 percent of GDP that year.
      • In 2016, there were more than 42,000 deaths in the United States resulting from an overdose involving opioids, up from more than 33,000 in 2015; further, 40% of those overdose deaths in 2016 involved commonly prescribed opioids.
    • Americans are frequently left with unneeded prescription opioids, which are often poorly stored and easy targets for drug abusers or children.
      • A 2017 review of 6 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery found that up to 92% of surgical patients prescribed opioids didn't use their entire prescription.
      • The same review found that in two of the studies approximately three out of four patients failed to store their unused opioids in locked containers.
      • According to the CDC, most people who abuse prescription opioids get them for free from a friend or relative.
  • Keeping stores of prescription drugs could lead to accidental exposure to dangerous medication.
    • In 2016, 23,872 cases of improper medicine use reported to Poison Control Centers in the United States involved accidental exposure to another person's medicine.
    • According to data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network, from 2004 to 2011, an estimated 22,174 children aged 1 to 5 were taken to an emergency room due to accidental ingestion of opioid pain relievers.

Donald J. Trump, President Donald J. Trump Announces Prescription Drug Take Back Day To Fight The Scourge Of Drug Abuse Across The Country Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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