Chances are, you do.
That half-used bottle of prescription painkillers you threw in a drawer two summers ago and forgot about could wind up on the black market-or in a kid’s pocket-if the wrong person goes snooping in your medicine cabinet.
Saturday, though, you can safely get rid of those drugs, because the Monroe Police Department is participating in the National Drug Take-Back Program, and they will dispose of your unwanted prescriptions for you.
“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse,” the Monroe Police Department said. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”
Ever wonder where drug abusers get prescription drugs?
It’s not usually from crooked doctors or pharmacy burglars.
Most black market prescription drugs come from home medicine cabinets like yours.
“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet,” said the Monroe Police Department.
Although a lot of the trade in prescription drugs is due to people who unscrupulously sell their prescriptions drugs, often obtained fraudulently, a fair amount is from simple theft. People who use or sell drugs will, when they get the chance, go through medicine cabinets and steal anything that is psychoactive.
But that’s not the only risk posed by unused prescriptions.
Accidental overdose is also a concern, especially among young people experimenting with drugs.
Between 2001 and 2005, accidental overdose on opioids increased 114 percent.
Nationally, one third of all new users of prescription drugs are people ages 12 to 17, and teens tend to abuse prescription drugs more than any other illegal drug except marijuana. Teens use prescriptions more than they use meth, cocaine and heroin combined.
Just flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash isn’t the best means of disposal. What you put in the garbage or toilet you are putting into the waste stream, or even in the water.
So in 2010, Congress passed the Drug Disposal Act, allowing police stations to accept and dispose of prescription drugs, even those scheduled as narcotics.
Police stations collect the drugs, then turn them over to the DEA for safe destruction.
So Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Monroe Police Department will accept your unused prescriptions and get rid of them for you.
They don’t have to be narcotics; the office will dispose of any unused or expired prescription medicines that you have.
Just bring them to the police office, 818 W. Main St. in Monroe, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, and officers will collect them.