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Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet: April 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

4/18/2014

TRICARE beneficiaries have a safe and easy way to dispose of expired prescription drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA's) National Prescription Drug Take-back Day is April 26. Sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for people to bring excess prescription drugs that otherwise could be abused or contaminate the environment.

A 2011 national survey on drug use found that Americans are twice as likely to regularly abuse prescription drugs as they are to regularly use cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined. The same study found more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, often without their knowledge.

During DEA’s last take-back day in October 2013, Americans disposed of more than 647,211 pounds of prescription drugs. The last seven take-back days have collected more than 3.4 million pounds of unused medication.

Prescription and over-the-counter “solid dosage” drugs—tablets and capsules—are accepted, but intravenous solutions, injectable medications and needles are not. Illegal substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are accepted.

To find a collection site click “Locate Collection Sites” at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback. Many military installations will participate in this event, including; Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Norfolk, VA Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; the Naval Medical Center in San Diego; and Fort Benning, Ga.

Last Updated 7/9/2014