How is your Medicine Cabinet Contributing to the Opioid Crisis?

October 08, 2018
opioid crisis

Help fight the Opioid Crisis by participating in the DEA’s Take Back Day

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans abuse controlled prescription drugs.  Today more of the ways that substance abuse begins are understood. Rarely is it as simple as a stranger offering an individual a pill in the park. Instead, it is about access and the subtle ways that drug abuse can insinuate itself into ordinary people’s lives, starting in the home medicine cabinet.

Did you know?

  1. Approximately one third of US adults have not purged the contents of their medicine cabinets in at least a year. Some leftover drugs are especially harmful, including frequently prescribed painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin.
  2. Most adults who had been prescribed an opioid recently are keeping leftover drugs for future use for themselves, or for sharing with a friend or family member to manage pain.
  3. Adults have also reported not knowing what to do with leftover opioid medications.
  4. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses this public safety and public health issue. Local law enforcement and community partners offer thousands of take-back sites nationwide to collect unwanted medicines a few times each year as a way to minimize access to prescription drugs.  The next Take Back Day is on October 27, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Go to: the DEA Take Back Day site to locate a collection site in your community.
  5. If you want to safely dispose of prescription drugs before the next Take Back Day, click here to locate a year-round authorized collector in your area.

For additional resources on addressing substance abuse issues, you can contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you or a family member is dealing with the difficulties of addiction, certified substance abuse counselors can help provide assistance and information regarding treatment, recovery and counseling.

Contributed by: Megan Campbell, LICSW