- Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday that a new Drug Enforcement Administration rule will allow Americans to drop off unused prescriptions at more sites, including hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and other authorized locations.
- Residents at long-term care facilities will be able to turn in prescription drugs on site and prescription users can also dispose of unused meds by mail using pre-paid packages.
- During a nationwide disposal day in April, almost 390 tons of prescription drugs were collected at almost 6,100 police and DEA-coordinated sites. The next drug turn-in day is September 27.
The new rule is an effort to combat the epidemic of prescription drug addiction. According to Reuters, over half of the 41,300 unintentional drug overdose deaths in 2011 involved prescription drugs. A 2013 study revealed that 6.5 million Americans over the age of 12 were non-medical users of prescription drugs. Meanwhile, a new study appearing in JAMA Psychiatry found that an estimated 267,000 patients visited an emergency department between 2009 and 2011 due to adverse drug events including overdose, excessive sleepiness and head injuries associated with the use of psychiatric prescriptions.
Want to read more? You may want to read this story about how 90,000 annual ED visits are linked to psychiatric drugs.