News Release - Prescription Drug Take Back Day - Saturday, April 29, 2017
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Dale Woolery 515-725-0310
Prescription Drug Take Back Day: When Spring Cleaning Can Save Lives
DES MOINES – The next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 29th, and state health and safety officials are joining together to urge Iowans to take advantage of its many benefits.
“Participating in prescription drug Take Back is not only a chance to safely dispose of leftover medicine cabinet items as part of spring cleaning, it also prevents prescription drug theft, misuse and addiction, and protects the environment, all of which can save lives,” said Steve Lukan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. “Take Back is truly a way to pay it forward.”
Opioid pain relievers are among the most misused and abused medicines prescribed in Iowa, all too often leading to addiction, overdose, or even death.
“Nearly half of the more than 300 million doses of controlled prescription drugs dispensed in Iowa last year were opioids with a high potential for abuse, and while much of that medicine goes unused many Iowans can help make sure it won’t be misused by disposing of it at Prescription Drug Take Back sites,” said Gerd Clabaugh, Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Prescription opioid misuse can also lead to the use of heroin and other illicit opioids. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, three out of four heroin users report previously abusing prescription opioids. And another federal study shows people addicted to prescription pain relievers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.
“Iowa law enforcement agencies report an increase in cases involving heroin and even more powerful synthetic opioids, making a dangerous situation potentially even more lethal,” said Roxann Ryan, Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
The environment also benefits from Iowans’ involvement in prescription drug Take Backs.
“As more prescription drugs are disposed of properly, fewer medicines are being flushed, and that protects water supplies from potential chemical contamination,” said Chuck Gipp, Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and features more than 100 Iowa sites, most of which will accept leftover medicine between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The Iowa Department of Public Safety will open an “early bird” Take Back site, at 215 East 7th Street in Des Moines, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. this Thursday, April 27.
Over the previous 12 National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, Iowans have safely disposed of nearly 39 tons of obsolete medicine, contributing to more than 3,000 tons collected nationally.
In addition to Saturday’s one-day Take Back events, and as part of a larger effort to make it easier for Iowans to properly dispose of unneeded medicine, the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy and Iowa Pharmacy Board continue working with several other partners to expand permanent Take Back receptacles at local pharmacies and law enforcement centers across the State. A total of 148 year-round Take Back sites are now open in 91 Iowa counties.
For more information on Saturday Take Back collection sites, permanent Take Back locations and educational materials Iowans can go to: https://odcp.iowa.gov/rxtakebacks.
Iowa Take Back efforts are supported by numerous local, state and federal partners, including the: Alliance of Coalitions for Change; Iowa Department of Public Health; Iowa Department of Public Safety; Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Iowa National Guard Counterdrug Task Force; Iowa Pharmacy Board; several local law enforcement agencies; Partnership for a Drug-Free Iowa; United States Attorneys; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.