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TRICARE Joins National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

9/26/2012

By: Peter Holstein
TRICARE Management Activity

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sponsored National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is September 29, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take-Back Day provides a venue for safe disposal of prescription drugs that might otherwise be susceptible to misuse, abuse or environmental contamination.

Many people are not aware that medicines left at home are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to the DEA. The Partnership for a Drug Free America reports that every day approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

This program also discourages people from flushing drugs down their toilets. Drugs improperly disposed of wind up in rivers and lakes where they harm aquatic life and contaminate the water supply, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The DEA take back program addresses these vital public safety and health issues. At the last DEA Take-Back Day in April 2012, Americans turned in more than 275 tons of unwanted or expired medications at more than 5,600 sites across the country.

Prescription and over-the-counter solid dosage medications, i.e., tablets and capsules are accepted. Intra-venous solutions, injectables and needles will not be accepted. Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this program.

To find a collection site click the “Collection Site Locator” link at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback. Many military installations participate in this event, including Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Carson in Colorado, the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and Fort Benning in Georgia.

Last Updated 4/15/2014