As an effort to help prevent opioid abuse and accidental overdose, the Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing a no-questions-asked prescription drug disposal day, Oct. 28.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 28 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide the public an opportunity to dispose of controlled and over-the-counter expired and unused prescription drugs in drop off locations throughout Williamson County.
Officials are requesting the public bring any prescription medication, including pet medicine. However, needles, syringes, thermometers, IV bags, medical devices and personal care products are not accepted.
“The goal is to avoid diversion and prescription misuse,” said Rosana Sielaff, LifeSteps Coalition director in Round Rock.
Typical methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards, according to the DEA.
According to The Surgeon’s General Report, opioid analgesic pain relievers are now the most prescribed class of medications in the United States, with more than 289 million prescriptions written each year.
Due to their ease of access, teens are obtaining medications from family members and friends, according to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. More than one-half of the non-medical users of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives aged 12 or older got the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free,” including from the home medicine cabinet.
“Our Coalition strives to raise awareness about safe medication disposal in our community,” Sielaff said. ”We are living an opioid crisis and the Take Back Day offers a great opportunity for proper disposal of unused and expired medications.”
The Lifestep Coalition recently was awarded a small grant to purchase a permanent drop-off box. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with LifeSteps to offer the box as a year-safe medication disposal to WilCo residents.