Time to Purge that Medicine Cabinet for Safety’s Sake

Prevent misuse and abuse on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 1.48.24 PM.pngSan Rafael, CA – The opioid abuse crisis is a national phenomenon these days – there’s even a White House webpage devoted to it – but it’s been lingering in Marin County for decades. One in four Marin adults needs help for substance abuse, alcohol abuse or mental health problems, and medications are liberally prescribed to treat those issues.

To address the widespread availability of prescription drugs, agencies across Marin will participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Take-Back Day on April 28. The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies are encouraging residents to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs and dispose of them at locations throughout the county. Dropoff locations include pharmacies, law enforcement stations, and libraries.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Studies show that most of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.

In Marin, RxSafe Marin is a grassroots community initiative collaborating to tackle what’s described as an epidemic of prescription drug misuse. Prescription drug overdose remains the leading cause of accidental death in Marin County. RxSafe Marin is working to limit the burden of prescription opioids by promoting safe prescribing by clinicians and increasing opportunities for safe disposal of unused and unwanted medications.

More than 8,000 pounds of unneeded drugs were collected in Marin last year, a far cry from the 2,500 pounds collected at the first take-back event in 2009. Statewide, 70,260 pounds were dropped off at 327 collection sites in 2017. Since fall 2010, more than 9 million pounds of drugs have been disposed of nationally through the take-back programs.

On Take-Back Day, Marin locations accept drop-offs between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous – no questions asked. Note that drop-off locations cannot accept liquid meds or needles.

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13537741_10209328713390171_8282725518331626905_nMelanie Nathan
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