Clinic to offer drug take-back day


4/6/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The clinic will be the site of a drug take-back day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 for Department of Defense cardholders. The 42nd Security Forces Squadron and the 42nd Medical Group pharmacy teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public an opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This is the second time Maxwell has participated in the national initiative. Last October, 31 Air Force locations collectively received 2,515 pounds of unwanted and unused medications, 94 pounds of which were collected here at Maxwell.

This initiative addresses a public safety and health issue.

According to Capt. Richard Smith, the 42 Medical Group chief of pharmacy services, the Air Force Medical Service pharmacy community dispensed more than 15 million prescriptions to beneficiaries last year. As a result of changing health conditions, drug allergies or adverse drug reactions, beneficiaries end up with partially used prescriptions.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. In addition, Americans are now advised that usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - pose potential hazards.

Although there will be a police presence at collection sites, security forces will not ask questions. However, they will be available to answer questions.

Courtesy of 42nd Medical Group