According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), more Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined.
Studies have found the majority of teenagers who abuse prescription drugs get them from family members, including the home medicine cabinet.
Central Ohio is not immune to this epidemic.
The Pickerington Police Department, the Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Fairfield County Sheriffs Office have teamed up with the DEA for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 28.
This national program allows residents to drop off unwanted or expired medication – no questions asked.
In addition to properly disposing of the medication, volunteers will put the bottles through a shredder to safeguard personal information.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100 people die each day in the United States from drug overdose. The number has tripled since 1990.
The CDC reports the most commonly abused drug is opioids, which is used to relieve pain. The popular painkillers include OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. More than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers, without medical reason, in 2010.
The CDC says other commonly abused prescriptions include benzodiazepines or sedatives to help with sleep, seizures or anxiety. This includes medication such as Xanax and Valium. Amphetamines, or stimulants, like Adderall and Ritalin are also widely abused.
According to the DEA, the medicine drops are part of the White Houses prescription drug abuse prevention strategy. Properly disposing of expired medication is one of the items in the plan. Officials say flushing or throwing away medication could cause safety and environmental concerns.
Other initiatives of the plan include educating health care providers, patients, parents and youth about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, increased enforcement ofdoctor shopping and pill mills, and establishing a drug-monitoring program in all states.
The DEA sponsors the medicine drops twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall.
This years event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon April 28 at the Violet Township Service Center, 490 N. Center St., Pickerington.
Electronics also will be accepted at this event. Items include computers, laptops, printers, cables, keyboards and cell phones. Computer monitors will be accepted at no cost if they are included as part of a system.
There is a $3 disposal fee if a monitor is dropped off without a processor or tower. Televisions will be accepted for $1 per diagonal inch.
Paper shredding also will be available.
Call (740) 681-4423 with questions about electronics.
For more information on the local medicine drop, call (740) 653-8154.
Residents also may drop off medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the Pickerington Police Department, 1311 Refugee Road.