With 174 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, Addiction Policy Forum is urging everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets when they turn the clocks ahead this Sunday. The organization is promoting the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs by giving away disposal kits at events across the country and online. For a list of events and to order a free disposal kit, visit www.addictionpolicy.org/order.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly one-third of people ages 12 and over who used drugs for the first time began by using a prescription drug for non-medical reasons. Over 11.5 million Americans misused prescription painkillers in the last year1 and every day 2,000 teenagers misuse prescription drugs for the first time.2
The addiction epidemic is currently impacting more than 21 million American families. "Everyone can do their part by getting rid of unused prescription drugs in a safe way. We are urging anyone who has old, unused medications sitting around their home to order a free online disposal kit," said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, President of Addiction Policy Forum. "It's an easy way for everyone to do their part to solve the addiction crisis by ensuring these drugs stay out of the hands of children, teenagers, or anyone they were not intended for."
Studies suggest that a majority of patients use only some or none opioid medications prescribed to them, and more than 90 percent failed to dispose of the leftovers in recommended ways, which can harm the environment.3
"We want to encourage everyone to dispose of their unused prescription drugs twice a year, whenever we change our clocks," said Hulsey Nickel. "Our hope is that this is as ingrained in people's minds as changing their smoke detector batteries, because just like a working smoke detector, getting rid of prescription drugs can save lives."
To order a free disposal kit and learn more about how to safely dispose of prescription drugs, visit www.addictionpolicy.org/order.