CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Starting Saturday morning at 10, thousands of Americans will head to locations set up by the Drug Enforcement Administration to drop off any unused prescription drugs.
This is a part of the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day which lasts until 2 p.m.
“One part of the work that the government is doing is to prevent unused opioid harming children, harming families and getting into the addicts community,” Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, the deputy center director for Regulatory Programs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.
According to the FDA, over 100 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and millions are addicted to opioids.
Throckmorton said that more people have been taking advantage of the Drug Take Back Day, disposing of unused opioids, which is something the FDA has a launched a campaign about.
“It’s one element that they can do something about,” he said. “This is something that you as an individual can do to address the opioid crisis. Get rid of the medicines in your medicines cabinet, especially opioids, when you don’t need them anymore.”
He added that the DEA is accepting all medicines including blood pressures medicines, antibiotics as well as opioids.
He said there would be no questions asked at the over 150 West Virginia locations taking part in the day.
During the previous Drug Take Back Day, which was the 16th of its kind, more than 450 tons of pills were taken.
Throckmorton said the numbers of opioids being prescribed are down for past years, calling it a “good thing,” but he still wants people to educate themselves and better understand why are they being prescribed opioids.
“Is it something that another medicine might do,” Throckmorton said. “Is there something else that they could do instead of taking a medicine that would help that pain?
“Have that conversation with the prescriber, your doctor, and decide whether it is right for you to use that medicine.”