BEL AIR, MD: Do you know all those old prescription jars that you want to remove but have not been used forever? At Bel Air, you can get rid of unused medications on April 28 at various locations during the National Prescription Day Prescription Day.
Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug recovery event is held twice a year to help Americans get rid of expired and unused prescriptions.
Most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine kit, according to the DEA.
Other methods of disposal: throwing unused drugs in the trash or throwing them in the toilet can cause environmental damage, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Local prescription drug disposal events are happening in these locations around Bel Air:
- Maryland State Police Bel Air Barracks, 4101 Belair Road, Bel Air, MD 21014
- Harford County Sheriff's Office , 220 South Main Street, Bel Air, MD 21014  More events will be added during the week, so be sure to check here to find a convenient location.
People can always get rid of unwanted medications at the Bel Air Police Department.
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Last fall, Americans delivered a record of 912,305 pounds, or 456 tons, of potentially dangerous drugs, nearly 6 tons more than those collected in the spring event of 2017. That brings to 4,508 tons the amount of prescription drugs collected by the DEA since the fall of 2010.
Included in the transport are increasing amounts of opioids, said the DEA . Although prescribed for pain control, these highly addictive medications can be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and adolescents. President Donald Trump declared the use of opioids as a public health emergency.
Often, the road to addiction to illegal drugs like heroin begins in a doctor's office with a prescription for opiates.
"The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest death rate from overdoses this country has ever seen," the DEA interim administrator said in a statement. , Robert W. Patterson. "This is a crisis that must be addressed from multiple angles, educating the public and eliminating these medications from homes throughout the United States prevents misuse where it often begins."
In 2016, opiates were involved in 42,249 deaths from overdoses, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from overdoses were five times higher in 2016, the last year for which statistics are available, than in 1999.
But it is not only opioids that represent a danger. Expired prescription medications may be less effective or risky due to changes in chemical composition over time. Some expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Overdue antibiotics can not treat infections, which leads to more serious illnesses and resistance to antibiotics, the DEA said.
Learn more about the DEA Drug Recovery Day.
Where to get help for addiction
Those seeking addiction treatment are encouraged to contact the Connections Addiction Resource at 443-417-7810. The nonprofit organization based in Jarrettsville helps people navigate through assistance options, from therapists to intermediate homes and treatment centers.
There are meetings of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous available locally, as well as Nar-Anon and Al-Anon for family members.  Individuals may also use the treatment locator on the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Administration website or call the Maryland Crisis hotline, which provides assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. the week at 1-800-422-0009. Maryland residents who deal with a substance use disorder can also find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org.
Photo by Kimberly Boyle / Shutterstock.Subscribe
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