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Thursday, April 25, 2019

DEA Take Back Day: Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription Drug MisuseWhat is prescription drug misuse? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it is taking more than the recommended dose or using medicine without a prescription. Nonmedical use is when a person uses a pharmaceutical without a doctor's permission.

Individuals who take a prescription drug for its euphoric effects are engaging in nonmedical use. Prescription drug misuse can quickly lead to abuse. People need only scan the headlines to observe what can happen when a person takes too much. Over the last two decades, we have seen an alarming rise in overdose deaths relating to prescription drug misuse.

There are inherent dangers in using prescription opioids and sedatives in unintended ways. Most Americans understand that prescription drug misuse can lead to addiction and overdose. However, many of the patients with prescriptions remain willing to divert their medicines to friends or family members.

More than half (53.0 percent) of people, ages 12 or older, who misused pain relievers in 2016 reported obtaining the drugs from a friend or relative, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans engaged in nonmedical prescription drug use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 70,237 overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States. Opioids of any kind were involved in 47,600 deaths; of which, 17,029 involved a prescription painkiller. Drug theft, misplacement, and diversion are still significant issues even though overdose deaths involving prescription drugs have leveled. Heroin and synthetic opioids (i.e., fentanyl) are now two of the leading causes of fatal overdoses.

National Take Back Day


Combatting nonmedical prescription drug use and abuse is a must. The majority of current heroin users are introduced to opioids via prescription painkillers. Mitigating diversion opportunities can prevent initiation, addiction, and overdose.

In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) launched the National Take Back Initiative. Each spring and fall, the DEA provides opportunities for Americans to dispose of their unused or unwanted medication safely. Since the program’s creation, National Rx Take Backs have collected 10,878,950 pounds of drugs.

The federal agency reports that its safe-disposal sites collected more than 900,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription medication during the last Take Back Day. The DEA writes that:

“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That's dangerous and often tragic. That's why it was great to see thousands of folks from across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in - safely and anonymously - a record amount of prescription drugs.” 

The Take Back is scheduled for this weekend; the organization encourages participation from everyone in possession of unused prescription medications. Please take a moment to watch a short PSA about the biannual event:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Please follow the link to find a collection site near you.

 

Central Coast Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


Any person who is in the grips of opioid addiction can benefit from seeking detoxification and residential treatment. Severe withdrawal symptoms make it challenging for men and women to break the cycle of addiction long enough to develop a program of recovery. Relapse rates are particularly high in the first week of abstinence.

Seeking professional assistance for an opioid use disorder can significantly increase a person’s ability to adopt a recovery program. Please contact The Haven at Pismo to learn more about The Pines, our Central Coast residential detox home. Our team of credentialed addiction professionals can safeguard your health and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox is complete, our Central Coast inpatient addiction treatment will help you rebuild your life and restore hope. We invite you to renew to your best today.