AAPCC Supports National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) applauds Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg’s announcement of the reinstitution of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days.

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There is absolutely no doubt that proper prescription drug disposal programs prevent unnecessary tragedies.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) applauds Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg’s announcement of the reinstitution of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. The 10th event of this kind has been scheduled for Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM local time. On the 26th, the DEA, with the assistance of nearly 4,000 national, tribal, and community law enforcement partners, will host over 5,000 collection sites in communities across the nation so local residents can return their unused, unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to http://www.dea.gov.

Cumulatively, during the past nine National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events, Americans in all 50 states have turned-in 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of prescription medications.

"There is absolutely no doubt that proper prescription drug disposal programs prevent unnecessary tragedies,” said AAPCC Executive Director and CEO Stephen T. Kaminski, J.D. “AAPCC has, and will continue to support poison exposure prevention events, such as the 2015 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day because as the experts at poison centers know all too well, it’s just too easy for unused medications to get the hands of children, addicts, and others for whom they can be dangerous.”

According to the National Vital Statistics System (CDC), drug and pharmaceutical poisoning is the number-one cause of injury death in the U.S. AAPCC and America’s 55 poison centers are crucial in surveillance, prevention, and pharmaceutical poisoning treatment efforts. Of the 2.2 million exposures managed by poison centers in 2013, about half were pharmaceutical exposures, and the vast majority of fatalities reported to poison centers were attributable to the misuse and/or abuse of drugs and pharmaceuticals. In fact, 16% of pediatric (< 6 years) fatalities reported to poison centers in 2013 were attributable at least in part to analgesics (pain relievers). For more National Poison Data System statistics and database information, visit http://www.aapcc.org/data-system.

The reinstatement of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days will enable Americans to properly dispose of their prescription medications before children, the mentally or visually impaired, and pets have a chance to ingest potentially dangerous unused medications not meant for them. Information on the safe disposal of unused or unwanted over-the-counter medications is available here: http://www.aapcc.org/prevention/medication-safety/.

For more information, the media may contact Krista Osterthaler, AAPCC Director, National Outreach, at 703-894-1864 or media(at)aapcc(dot)org.

AAPCC represents the nation’s 55 regional poison control centers (PCCs), which provide free, expert information and treatment advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, through the national Poison Help line—1-800-222-1222. Calls are answered primarily by certified specialists in poison information (e.g., specially trained nurses, toxicologists, pharmacists, and physicians). Each year, U.S. poison control centers answer more than 3.1 million calls about drug, consumer product, animal, environmental, food poisoning, and other issues. AAPCC accredits PCCs, certifies specialists in poison information, coordinates national-level poison education and prevention programs and collaborations, coordinates national meetings among poison center directors, toxicologists, and poison control educators, operates the National Poison Data System, and provides advocacy support on issues relevant to poison control. AAPCC partners with federal agencies such as HRSA, CDC, FDA, DEA, and EPA, as well as private industry.

To learn more, visit http://www.aapcc.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@AAPCC).

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Krista Osterthaler
AAPCC
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