Editor, The Messenger,
According to the CDC, in 2018 there were more than 168 million opioids prescribed across the United States. Drug Take Back Day occurred over the weekend on Oct. 24. Drug Take Back Day is a national event that is meant to educate the public about the importance of disposing unused or expired opioids. Getting rid of these opioids that aren’t being used can easily protect your loved ones and your community. If you’ve ever gotten a procedure or surgery and you did not use all of the prescription painkillers, then you can dispose of them in a safe and secure location to ensure no one misuses them.
Granted, you do not have to wait until this day every year to throw away your unused drugs. You can do it any day of the year, locally, at the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, the Nelsonville Police Department, Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare, and the CVS Pharmacy of East State Street in Athens.
Allowing expired drugs to gather dust in your medicine cabinet puts your community and your family at risk. There is always a chance that someone can get their hands on them and overdose, whether by accident or on purpose. Regardless, it is always safer to dispose of them the moment you are no longer in pain.
If you need to keep your prescription pain medications due to a chronic illness, hide them in a place that is not easily accessible to anyone but you, or use a medication lockbox. If you still need access to the medications, ensuring that your prescriptions are in a safe and secure location is just as effective as disposing them.
Potential misuse of these medications can be fatal to anyone that comes across them. These medications were designed to help with pain and to be taken safely. The moment someone misuses them is the moment they become dangerous.
For more information about safely disposing unused medications, contact the HEALing Communities Study Community Engagement Facilitator for Athens County — Kendra Green at Kendra.Green@osumc.edu.”