On October 22, 2016, the public turned in 731,269 pounds—almost 366 tons—of medication to DEA at almost 5,200 collection sites nationwide. Over the life of the program, 7.1 million pounds (more than 3,500 tons) of prescription drugs have been removed from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and nightstands by citizens around the country.
The medicine cabinet is today’s drug dealer: the majority of the 6.4 million Americans who abused CPDs in 2015 – including the almost 4 million who abused prescription painkillers – say they obtained those drugs from friends and family, including from a home medicine cabinet, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last month.
Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin: Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 30,000 people—78 a day—died from overdosing on these painkillers or heroin in 2014.
In the two years since new regulations made the disposal of CPDs easier, many law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics have begun ongoing collection of these medications. Find a collection site near you.
Tags: Addiction, Alcohol Treatment, Disease of Drug Use, Drug Rehabilitation, Drug Treatment, Roseville, Sacramento, Shame and Stigma, Substance Use Disorder
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