Drug Take Back Day

Drug Take Back Day

Kendall Trepanier, Journalist

IMG_0522 (1)Nearly 60% of all Americans- the highest ever- are taking prescription drugs. Of that percentage of people, a total of 45% of them will overdose on prescription drugs. In 2006, 2.6 million people abused prescription drugs. Many would think that prescription drugs shouldn’t be as big of a threat as most street drugs. For example, statistics show that only 39% of the deaths are from cocaine, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Those seem like the drugs that can cause the most damage, but in reality it’s the little orange bottles just sitting in our medicine cabinets.

On April 30th, 2016 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., law enforcement agencies host an event called Drug Take Back Day. This event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. This day prompts public health and public safety while minimizing the possibility of diversion.  This day began on January 21, 2009, when the DEA published in the Federal Register an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule making. Many comments were brought up due to this on how to address the issue of disposal of controlled substances.  

Local police stations host this event. Drug Take Back Day is “no questions asked” and the collector has to provide no personal information when getting rid of the prescription drugs. Officer Stephen Trepanier, from the Hamilton Police Department, shared his own personal opinion of the day. When asked what he thinks this event does for the community, he responded, “It makes safer homes with medication being cleaned out and shows that the police take a stand to support abuse. Drug abuse can be controlled just by everyone being involved.” While most people may not think having a prescribed drug is illegal, it is. “If they are not prescribed to you and you have them in your possession, it is, but this event is a no question asked event to destroy unnecessary prescription drugs you have,” said Officer Trepanier. This event is highly recommended to other police stations that they participate in it. While most departments already do, spreading social awareness of Drug Take Back Day can potentially save someone from overdosing.

In conclusion, most people think that the only drugs that can harm you are street drugs, but in reality the dusty pill bottles hiding on the back shelf of your cabinets can do the most harm.