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[r29] Column: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day – Oct. 26
Start Date: 10/23/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/23/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day – Oct. 26

A recent Monitoring the Future study found that prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs after marijuana for young people. If this wasn’t alarming enough, over 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives, while approximately 5 percent got them from a drug dealer or over the Internet, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 
 
The accessibility of leftover prescriptions in a home’s medicine cabinet has led to thousands of people dying each year from accidental drug overdoses. In 2010, 654 Hoosiers lost their lives because of such overdoses. 
 
The youth is especially effected by this and more prone to abuse prescription drugs. A national, 2011 Youth Risk Behavior survey of a group of high school students found more than 20 percent had taken prescription drugs one or more times without a doctor’s prescription. These drugs typically included prescriptions for ADHD like Adderall and Ritalin or pain killers like Oxycontin and Vicodin. Indiana ranked second highest out of the 35 states where students were surveyed. 
 
Two interim study committees have been discussing this topic: the Health Finance Committee and the Commission on Mental Health and Addiction. The Commission on Mental Health and Addiction is expected to provide its recommendations to the General Assembly this week, while the Health Finance Committee has already suggested that the disposal of unused prescription drugs continue to be considered and monitored, in anticipation of new federal regulations. The Legislature put in place a pilot program, administered by the Attorney General, for pharmacies to take back controlled substances, which has been very successful. 
 
We are working to help people by providing more take-back sites for Hoosiers to dispose of their leftover or unused prescriptions. To build more awareness and keep more prescriptions drugs from getting into the wrong hands, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, and the Marsh at 14450 Mundy Drive in Noblesville will be taking back old prescriptions. I highly encourage anyone who has old medicines to properly dispose of it at this site. 
 
It is very important to properly dispose of these medicines to avoid environmental or personal harm. Accidental poisoning, illegal use or theft and contamination of water resources are some of the dangers that come with improper disposal of prescription drugs. 
 
It is important that Hoosiers do not keep prescribed medications past their expiration date or intended period use, discard them in the trash, flush them down the toilet, pour them down the sink or give or sell them to others. The effects are very real as drug-induced deaths were second to only motor vehicle fatalities between 1999 and 2007 according to the National Center for Health Statistics. We all can do more to prevent these terrible situations from occurring. 
 
For more information about prescription drug misuse and abuse, please visit www.bitterpill.in.gov. This site answers questions that are frequently asked about prescription drugs, provides firsthand accounts of Hoosiers that were impacted by prescription drug abuse and various resources to prevent abuse. Also, visit www.hamiltoncounty.in.gov, under Hamilton County Household Hazardous Waste, for an information sheet on how to dispose of these unwanted medicines in other ways.

If you, or someone you know, are battling prescription drug abuse, the FSSA’s website provides options and resources for various recovery treatments. To find a facility near you, call 1-800-662-HELP or log onto www.in.gov/fssa/dmha/index.htm. Asking for help is the first step and can be a daunting one. Calling the Indiana Mental Health and Addiction Ombudsman at 1-800-555-MHAI can be another helpful resource to aid in this process.

-30-

My column can also be viewed in the Times in Noblesville.
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: (317) 232-9831
Email: nicholas.goodwin@iga.in.gov
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