In conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Initiative, the PACT Coalition, CARE Coalition, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Smith’s Pharmacy, and other Southern Nevada partners have teamed up for a community-wide prescription drug take back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 22.
Unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs may be dropped off anonymously and with no-questions-asked for safe disposal during the one-day, event at select Smith’s Pharmacy locations:
Prescription drugs may be dropped off in their original containers, with any patient information blacked out.
“We encourage all residents to look through their medicine cabinets and join us to safely dispose of any old or unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications,” said Jamie Ross, executive director of the PACT Coalition. “We want to keep these medications from being misused, especially by our young people.”
The misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs are, after marijuana and alcohol, the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.
A study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported the classes of prescription drugs most commonly abused are: opioid pain relievers, such as Vicodin® or Oxycontin®; stimulants for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall®, Concerta®, or Ritalin®; and central nervous system (CNS) depressants for relieving anxiety, such as Valium® or Xanax®. The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold remedies containing dextromethorphan.
“People often think that prescription and OTC drugs are safer than illicit drugs,” said Krystal Riccio, associate professor of pharmacy at Roseman University’s College of Pharmacy “However, they can be just as addictive and dangerous as illicit drugs and put users at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose. The risk is more profound when taken along with other drugs or alcohol.”
Riccio adds, there are varying strengths, side effects and interactions to consider when taking medications that aren’t prescribed to you by a doctor or are simply misused. Tragically, the result can be great bodily harm or even death.
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in addition to regularly cleaning out home medicine cabinets and safely disposing of unwanted drugs and medications, it is also critical that the public secure their current medications at home, so teens can’t access them, as well as keep track of quantities. It’s also important, especially for parents, to make certain that friends and relatives do the same.
The drug collection is presented by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, PACT Coalition, CARE Coalition, Smith’s Pharmacy, Roseman University College of Medicine, Retail Association of Nevada, Nevada State Medical Association, Clark County Medical Society, Clark County Medical Society Alliance, and the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.