FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday announced that Kentucky will again take part in a national prescription drug take-back program to safely dispose of unused, unneeded or expired medications. The Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday at locations throughout the state.
The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked of people dropping off medications, according to a news release from Beshear's office. In Kentucky, there are 65 drop-off locations, including all state police posts and many city police departments and sheriff's offices.
Drug overdoses kill more than 1,000 Kentuckians annually, but new data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows a 14 percent drop in the number of adults 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past month.
“There is promising news that the initiatives we’ve taken, both in Kentucky and in other states, are starting to have an impact,” Beshear said. “But the effects of prescription drug abuse are simply too devastating to become complacent. Medications, once they are no longer needed for their prescribed purposes, should be disposed of properly to reduce their risk of being diverted and abused.”
The Take-Back Day addresses vital public safety and public health issues: medicines left in home cabinets are susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, and studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, the initiative creates a safe, environmentally conscientious way to dispose of medications once they are no longer needed, since flushing the drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.
In total, the four previous DEA drug take-back programs have removed more than 1.5 million pounds of unwanted or expired medications from circulation.
To find a collection site, visit: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.