Encourage patients to 'take them back' to help prevent addiction, overdose

The next DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is set for Saturday, Oct. 27, and more than 300 locations in California are prepared to help people dispose of unused prescription drugs safely and anonymously.

The Drug Enforcement Agency cites a national survey showing that most abused prescription drugs in 2015 were obtained from family and friends — often from the home medicine cabinet. Take-back days, held twice annually, provide an opportunity “to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths,” the DEA states. California alone disposed of 69,883 tons of prescription drugs at 318 statewide collection sites on the take-back day in April.

Dentists and other health care providers can encourage their patients and others to dispose of prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27. Patients should also be made aware that they do not need to wait for a take-back day, but can dispose of unused prescription drugs anytime at designated locations.

The event website lets individuals search for collection sites near them, including year-round collection sites. Also available are resources such as posters and website buttons that health care providers can use to promote the event. Learn more at https://takebackday.dea.gov.

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