National Drug Take-Back Day Oct. 26|
by By Capt. Ryan Shaver
42nd Medical Group chief of clinical support
10/22/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26, the 42nd Security Forces Squadron and the 42nd Medical Group will team up with the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement to give the public an opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially-dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
During this time, anyone with base access may bring all old, expired, unused and unwanted medications for disposal to the Maxwell BX parking lot. For those who do not have base access, there will be other drop-off locations throughout the community that can be found on the DEA website. The service is free and anonymous.
This is the fifth time Maxwell has participated in this National Take-Back initiative. At the last event in April, Maxwell collected 279 pounds of unwanted or expired medications, ranking Maxwell eighth in the entire United States Air Force for pounds collected.
On that same April day, citizens turned in 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,829 take-back sites, which were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. This will be the seventh National Drug Take-Back Day.
When the results of the six 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 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of medication from circulation.
This initiative addresses a vital 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 alarmingly 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 that their usual methods of disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The Air Force Medical Service pharmacy community has done a fantastic job of delivering the pharmacy benefit to our patient populations. In 2012, the Maxwell pharmacy dispensed 330,000 prescriptions, ranking Maxwell fourth of 58 Air Force clinic pharmacies for total prescriptions dispensed. Last year, all Air Force pharmacies dispensed over 15 million prescriptions. Unfortunately, as a result of changing health conditions, drug allergies or adverse drug reactions, our beneficiaries have partially used prescriptions filling their medicine cabinets.
By getting rid of these items at this event, our homes and community become safer, and medications are properly disposed of, minimizing any impact to the environment.
Personnel will be available to answer questions or address concerns at this event.