THROUGH INDIANA – Do you know all those old and almost empty prescription jars you want to get out of the way, but not forever?
Nobody is judging. We understand: You have been smart enough not to throw them with your usual trash and, well, you will not have that excuse on Saturday, April 28.
In Indianapolis and Fishers, you can get rid of unused medications on day 28 in various locations during the spring day Take Back. Events sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration are held twice a year to help Americans safely dispose of expired and unused prescriptions.
Not only will you eliminate the risk that you, or a boy, might get a pill that has already expired, which can be dangerous. Also, if you have persistent opiates left over from the moment you need it, you'll want to get rid of those pills so they do not fall into the wrong hands.
Last fall, Americans became a record 912,305 pounds – or 456 tons – of potentially dangerous drugs, almost 6 tons more than those collected in the spring of 2017 event. That brings to 4,508 tons the amount of prescription drugs collected by the DEA since the fall of 2010.
Local prescription elimination events are April 28, 10 am to 2 p.m .:
- Fishermen Police Department Mailbox – 4 Municipal Drive
- Kroger – 11700 Olio Rd.
- St. Vincent Hospital – Front Entrance, Gate 1, 2001 W. 86th St.
- Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Station 4 – 8404 N. Ditch Rd.
- Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Station 27 – 2918 E. 10th St.
- Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Station 2 – 4120 Mitthoeffer Rd.
- Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Station 1 – 1903 W. 10th St.
- Fire Department Fire Department Indianapolis Fire Department 23 – 1108 E. Thompson Rd.
- Indiana Board of Pharmacy – Community Cancer Center North Community Hospital, Police / security – 7979 Shadeland Ave.
- Indiana Board of Pharmacy – Walmart, 3221 W 86th St.
- Indiana Board of Pharmacy – South Community Community Hospital Police / Security Center – 1440 E. County Line Rd.
- Marion County Sheriff's Office Mailbox – 40 S. Alabama St.  District of the State Police or from Indiana 52 – 8620 E. 21st St.
- Kroger Speedway – 5718 Crawfordsville Rd.
In addition, there are more than more than a dozen local events happening in other cities.
More events will be added throughout the week, so be sure to check here to find a convenient location.
Included in the carry 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 Trump has declared the use of opiates as a public health emergency.
Often, the road to addiction to illegal drugs such as heroin begins in a doctor's office.
"The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opiate epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen," said DEA interim administrator Robert W. Patterson in a statement. "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. Overdose deaths were five times higher in 2016, the last year for which statistics are available, than in 1999.
Most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine kit, said 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.
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.
Drugs must have been prescribed to a member of your household. Illegal drugs can not be eliminated during events, nor can syringes and needles. More information is available here.
Photo by David Smart / Shutterstock.com
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