DUBLIN, Ohio — As part of its effort to fight prescription drug abuse, the Cardinal Health Foundation is urging the public to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday.
The event, held April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), aims to help prevent medication abuse and theft by providing a safe, easy and anonymous way of getting unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs out of the home.
“Proper medication disposal is one of the simplest and most effective ways for anyone to fight the epidemic of prescription drug misuse,” stated Betsy Walker, director of community relations at Cardinal Health. Walker also is co-director of Generation Rx, an initiative of the Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy that fights prescription drug misuse through prevention education.
Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.
In support of take-back days and prevention education, the Cardinal Health Foundation awarded nearly $900,000 in Generation Rx grants last year. The foundation’s Medication Disposal Grant Program helps nonprofit groups build or expand disposal programs to educate communities about safe medication practices to reduce prescription drug misuse.
“As highly respected health care providers in their communities, pharmacists play a powerful role in fighting prescription drug misuse,” Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of independent sales at Cardinal Health and executive sponsor of Generation Rx, said in a statement. “And we know it’s critical to engage young people. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that youth who learn about the risks of prescription drug misuse are up to 50% less likely to ever misuse them.”
On National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, one Generation Rx Medication Disposal Grant recipient, the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, will work with local sheriff’s departments, pharmacies, student pharmacists and high school students to expand the number of drug take-back sites in their region, doubling the number of take-back sites since last year’s event, Cardinal Health said.
To measure the effectiveness of their efforts, the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana will compare their expanded drug take-back events to those of previous years by measuring the number of participants and the number of pounds of prescription drugs collected. All Medication Disposal Grant recipients will report on the results of their initiatives this summer.