Not only is October American Pharmacists Month, a time to recognize pharmacists for the great care they provide to communities, but October 27th is also the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The day is designed to highlight a program that provides a safe and responsible method for patients to discard prescription medications from their homes and learn more about the risk of abuse with controlled prescription medications. The DEA website has a collection site locator, where Americans can find the exact location to discard their medications safely. The website also has a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Treatment Services locator, it’s confidential and helps individuals find resources in their area.
The Crisis of Prescription Abuse
Prescription abuse is absolutely a national crisis. Educating yourself and your friends and family is important.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs in 2016. The most eye-opening detail: the study shows the majority of abused prescription drugs were acquired from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
I have seen the effects of prescription abuse firsthand among my own patients in community pharmacies. It’s heartbreaking. Everyone must do our part and take back control of where we store, who has access, and how we dispose of our medications.
The numbers don’t lie. There were 72,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017 alone.
Those are people with families, people with dreams. We have opportunities, such as Prescription Take Back Day, to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
We do not permit the online pharmacies in our Verification Program to dispense controlled substances internationally, whether opioids or sleep medications. For domestic dispensing, online pharmacies must meet the strictest requirements for safety.
Let’s take back control of our prescriptions today and every day moving forward.
Shivam Patel, PharmD, BSPS, RPh, Director of Pharmacy Verification and Information
Dr. Patel manages and oversees the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. Dr. Shivam Patel provides expert knowledge regarding safe pharmacy practice, quality assurance, drug safety, and patient access to affordable medication. He is a registered pharmacist in Massachusetts and has experience in the community and hospital pharmacy settings. Dr. Patel has worked at Brigham and Women’s hospital, Partners Healthcare, CVS Health, and Stallergenes Greer as the Senior Pharmacovigilance and Drug Safety Associate. At Stallergenes he was responsible for quality review, analysis, preparation, and completion of labeling, narrative and submission reports of serious adverse events (SAEs) in order to meet regulatory requirements compliant with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Patel received a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies from Northeastern University. Dr. Patel was a Professional Pharmacy Practice Laboratory Instructor at Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences School of Pharmacy.Tagged with: controlled drugs, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, opioids