Saturday was the 6th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This day is an opportunity for people all over the country to safely dispose of any unused prescription pills in their homes.
In Scarsdale, NY, the amount of medications collected during the day almost filled a police cruiser. Precincts all over the country reported similar results. As a matter of fact, in the last five years since this events started, over 2 billion pounds of medications have been collected and safely destroyed. Decades ago, people were advised to flush any unused prescription pills down the toilet to prevent accidental ingestion and keep temptation away from curious teens and children. But now we know that this practice puts the medications into the waterways and the environment, killing fish and wildlife. Take-Back days are a safer way to go.
The Scarsdale drop-off site also had a local physician, Dr. Levine, on hand to answer questions. Dr. Levine, an adolescent health physician, reminded residents that the availability of unused prescription pills, particular pain medication, can be a precursor to other kinds of drug abuse, including heroin.
“The more we can raise awareness of the issues of abuse and encourage proper disposal, the safer and healthier our children will be,” Levine said. Measures like these will hopefully mean less people end up needing painkiller addiction treatment in the long run.