|National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Offers Safe Disposal of Unused Medications|
|By: PR Newswire Association LLC. - 23 Apr 2019||Back to overview list
CHICAGO, April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Every day, 130 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high with an estimated 16.7 million people using prescription drugs for a non-medical purpose in the last year. Of the non-medical users, nearly 70% obtained their pills from family and friends, a phenomenon known as diversion. Keeping unused, excess prescription pain medications in the home leaves households vulnerable to misuse, accidents and diversion, or the non-medical use of legally prescribed medications.
Northwestern Medicine is coming together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host collection sites for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27. The twice-a-year event provides a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused opioids and other prescription medications, while also educating the general public about the potential for misuse of medications.
This is the third time Northwestern Medicine and the DEA have come together to offer this community service. In October, more than 900 pounds of unused medications were collected at five Northwestern Medicine drug disposal sites.
From 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, April 27, community members can safely dispose of their unused medications at five Northwestern Medicine sites. No liquids or sharps will be accepted:
In addition to these five sites, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital will participate in the National Prescription Take Back Day event at the DeKalb Police Department located at 700 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb from 10 am to 2 pm.
Unused medications thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. If medications are flushed, they can contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.
"Surgical providers write nearly 10 percent of all opioid prescriptions and approximately 80 percent of the pills of those 28.3 million prescriptions go unused, leaving a staggering number of pills available for diversion and leaving them vulnerable to abuse or misuse," said Dr. Stulberg. "Recognizing we had a responsibility to provide a safe disposal option to our patients, we launched an opioid take back program in 2017 for surgical patients. This program has since expanded across our hospital system to additional clinics and some public spaces within our hospitals."
Since launching its opioid disposal program, Northwestern Medicine has collected more than 1,100 pounds of excess opioid pain pills and has expanded the program to five additional locations. In addition to safely disposing of these unused pills, Dr. Stulberg and his research team also used data collected from the patients to inform procedure-specific opioid prescribing guidelines to help surgeons determine the appropriate number of pills to prescribe depending on the kind of surgery.
To learn more about Northwestern Medicine's efforts to curb the opioid crisis in Illinois, visit: https://www.isqic.org/opioid-reduction-initiatives. For more information on Northwestern Medicine, visit http://news.nm.org/about-northwestern-medicine.html.
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SOURCE Northwestern Medicine
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