Published : Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 6:57 PM
You can safely and securely dispose of unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications this Saturday during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at the Pasadena Police Department.
The program is an effort put forth by public health officials who say a large percentage of prescription drug misuse stems from easy access to unmonitored drugs by family and friends
“We need to think to ourselves, ‘can we keep our drugs just sitting in our cabinets casually, not supervised, not taking inventory of them?’” asked Day One Executive Director Christy Zamani.
“The answer is no,” she said.
Day One, the local nonprofit which has spent 30 years providing effective public health education and policy development, partnered with the Pasadena Public Health Dept., Pasadena Police Dept., and elected officials to bring National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday to Pasadena.
According to Zamani, 22% of high school seniors in the United States reported non-prescription drug use at any point in their life.
“That’s very, very high,” said Zamani. “You have to think where are they getting these drugs and what can we do as adults and community members to get it out of their hands?”, said Zamani.
Data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shows that every year, prescription drug misuse is responsible for at least 400 deaths, over 9,000 visits to the emergency room, and 2,500 addiction treatment admissions in the county.
“It’s very important that we all participate in this drug take-back program because we know that one in five individuals who started taking illicit drugs in the past year reported that their first drug was a prescription drug,” said Pasadena Public Health Department Health Officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh.
Prescription drug misuse occurs when someone takes a prescription drug in a way that is different from how it was prescribed. About 70 percent of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, the data showed.
According to Goh, the drug take-back program is a part of a multi-pronged strategy that is necessary to respond to this public health emergency of opioid-related overdose deaths.
“The impact of this public health crisis extends across racial-ethnic groups, age, sex, geography, and socio-economic status. It affects everyone,”
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Agency, addresses this crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs.
The Pasadena Police Department will accept unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications at the from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 207 North Garfield Ave. on Saturday.
For more information about Take Back Day, email Christy@godayone.org or call (626) 229-9650.
To learn more about the National Take-Back campaign, visit www.takebackday.dea.gov.