Alaskans removed 2.1 tons of prescription drugs from circulation during the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
If that’s not enough, Alaska will do it again in October.
The national effort to remove unused prescription drugs from medicine cabinets and similar private places resulted in 450 tons collected in late April, according to the DEA Seattle office.
The take-back set a 12-year record. The take-back has been occurring since September 2010. Since then, 4,052 tons of unused prescription drugs have been collected.
The Pacific Northwest — Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington — had its highest collection to date. Not only did Alaska collect 4,123 pounds through 18 collection sites, but Idaho’s 36 collection sites resulted in 12,120 pounds, Oregon’s 16 sites in 12,220 pounds, and Washington’s 65 sites in 15,148 pounds.
The effort aims to reduce prescription drugs unused by the intended patient recipient and keep them away from those for whom they weren’t intended. In 2015, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs, the majority of which was obtained from family and friends, and often in home medicine cabinets.
By participating in the take-back day, Alaskans and other Americans help to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
The next national take-back day will be Oct. 28. If any unused prescription drugs need to be disposed of sooner, law enforcement, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics often are willing to assist.
This effort is about public safety, and it’s clearly effective with its collections. It likely saved lives, as well.
— Ketchikan Daily News,