ROELAND PARK, Kan. -- How bad is abuse of prescription drugs in America? A survey done by a government agency found twice as many Americans abuse prescriptions than cocaine, heroin, inhalants and drugs like LSD combined.
One way to reduce abuse is by getting unwanted or expired drugs out of the house. The safe way is to take part in the next National Prescription Take-Back Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. More than 20 Price Chopper pharmacies will participate. To see the list of pharmacies, go to http://www.mypricechopper.com/community_events/default.aspx?id=93. Police officers will be on hand to take the medications.
Amanda Applegate, a Price Chopper pharmacist, explained how getting rid of the drugs this way is healthier than tossing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet.
"Even if the drugs wind up in the landfills, they often get into our water systems. Same thing with flushing medications. If they're flushed, they go directly into water systems which can lead to negative effects such as these medications getting into people's drinking water," she explained.
Applegate said it's also important to keep the medications out of the hands of people who might find them in the home and abuse them.
"It's very common unfortunately. Most of the people that do abuse prescription medications obtain them from family or friends," the pharmacist said.
Applegate said narcotic pain medications, anti-anxiety medications, and some anti-epilepsy medications are among the most commonly abused drugs.