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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

prescription opioids
It’s been nearly two decades since the American opioid addiction epidemic began. The crisis is the result, most experts agree, of changes made in how physicians treat and manage patient pain. Up until the late 1990s doctors were extremely reticent about prescribing high doses of opioid painkillers for extended periods of time. Then, concerns about patient comfort and subsequent quality of life led primary care providers to literally “flip the `script;” overprescribing became less of a rarity and practically the rule.

Most people are aware of the dangers of prescription narcotics today, thanks in part to constant media coverage of the devastation wreaked upon the nation from the use of drugs like OxyContin. More than 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Wonder database. It probably will not come as a surprise to learn that the majority of overdoses stem from prescription opioids.

It can be easy to conclude that the people dying prematurely from overdose are “hardened” drug addicts; this is due to the ever-persistent stigma of addiction. However, and in many cases, overdose victims are young adults who had the misfortune of being introduced to the substances via a friend or a family member. While opioids are the number one offender in the home medicine cabinet, the general public must not lose sight of the fact that any narcotic a doctor prescribes can precipitate disastrous consequences, such as addiction and overdose. More than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines like Xanax or Ativan.


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The medicine cabinet is often a repository of some of the most harmful drugs, to be sure. The good news is that WE all have the power to help prevent addiction and save lives. This Saturday is the 15th DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Given that the majority of abused prescription drugs are acquired from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet, it is clear that the onus is on everyone to help stem the tide.

Please take a moment to watch a short PSA on the subject:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Do you know that:
  • The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.
  • The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends — and the home medicine cabinet.
  • Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.
Prescription narcotics are a public health issue that must be a priority. If you have unused or unwanted drugs that carry habit-forming potential, please use the DEA’s collection site locator to find out where to go in your area. If you are unable to get to a drop site this Saturday, don’t worry, there are year-round locations you can find here.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

The Haven at Pismo can help anyone in the grips of opioid use disorder, whether it be OxyContin or heroin. We provide a continuum of care, including medical detox, gender-specific residential programs, and outpatient programs. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs. 805-202-3440.