Community can participate in National Drug Take-Back Day



by Courtesy of
42nd Medical Group


9/28/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- The 42nd Security Forces Squadron and the 42nd Medical Group Pharmacy will team up with the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday for the fifth National Drug Take-Back Day at the Maxwell Exchange parking lot. Department of Defense identification card holders may bring all old, expired, unused and unwanted medications for disposal, which is an opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

This is the third time Maxwell has participated in this national take-back initiative. The service is free and anonymous.

Four drop-off locations also are available off base: the Community Oriented Policing Bureau at 2190 E. South Blvd. in Montgomery, the Eastdale Mall parking lot in Montgomery, the parking lot of the Kmart in Prattville and the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Wetumpka.

According to Capt. Ryan Shaver, 42nd MDG staff pharmacist, Air Force pharmacies dispensed more than 15 million prescriptions last year. As a result of changing health conditions, drug allergies or adverse drug reactions, many beneficiaries end up with partially used prescriptions. By getting rid of these items at take-back events, homes and the community become safer, and medications are properly disposed, minimizing any impact to the environment.

On April 28, the national event collected 552,161 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites across all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the four previous National Drug Take- Back Day events are combined, the DEA and its state, local and tribal law enforcement and community partners will have removed more than 1.5 million pounds of medication from circulation.

This initiative addresses a public safety and public health issue. Medications that languish in home cabinets are highly 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 due to these drugs. Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including home medicine cabinets. In addition, Americans are now advised their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash--pose potential safety and health hazards.