National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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Addiction Expert Dr. Indra Cidambi Offers Reasons Why Participation Is Important

Dr. Indra Cidambi

When in doubt, throw it out. Using expired medications can put an individual’s health at risk

On April 30th, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) will team up with local law enforcement agencies across the country for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to assist in the safe disposal of unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) started hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back events in 2010. At the previous 10 Take-Back Day events, over 5.5 million pounds of unwanted, unneeded or expired medications were surrendered for safe and proper disposal that may have otherwise lingered in medicine chests and kitchen cabinets or thrown down the drain.

“It’s important to check your medicine cabinet at least once a year, especially because expired or unused prescriptions can pose a health risk for you or a loved one if ingested accidentally or misused,” said Dr. Indra Cidambi, addiction medicine expert from the Center for Network Therapy. Dr. Cidambi shares three important reasons for individuals to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day:

1) Potential for Misuse/Abuse: The program can help prevent misuse/abuse of medications. According to NIDA (1), 70% of people who abused prescription medications obtained it (given free, bought or took) from a friend or relative. The growing epidemic of abuse/misuse of opioids and other medications such as benzodiazepines can lead to dependence or overdose.

2) First Exposure: Storing medications that are no longer needed may lead to serious problems for families, if teenagers or even young adults in their homes ingest them accidentally or use them in an attempt to self medicate because of the misconception that it is safe to use as it was prescribed by a physician. Many people who abuse opioids get their first dose by using meds that were prescribed to others.

3) Impact on the Environmental: When an individual tosses medications in the trash or down the drain, the medication can seep into the groundwater — If you miss National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day you can safely dispose of prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines at your local pharmacy.

“Check your medications for expiration dates, and properly dispose off unneeded medications,” recommends Dr. Cidambi. “When in doubt, throw it out. Using expired medications can put an individual’s health at risk, as efficacy may decrease and medications may not perform as expected.”


For more information on where you can drop off your prescription drugs please contact the DEA’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 or check the DEA's website for collection sites in your area.

For more information on addiction treatment, please go to

About Dr. Indra Cidambi
Indra Cidambi, M.D., Medical Director, Center for Network Therapy, is recognized as a leading expert and pioneer in the field of Addiction Medicine. Under her leadership the Center for Network Therapy started New Jersey’s first state licensed Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification program for all substances nearly three years ago. Dr. Cidambi is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and double Board Certified in Addiction Medicine (ABAM, ABPN). She is fluent in five languages, including Russian.

About Center for Network Therapy
Center for Network Therapy (CNT) was the first facility in New Jersey to be licensed to provide Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification Services for all substances of abuse – alcohol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines, opiates and other substances of abuse. Led by a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, Indra Cidambi, M.D., experienced physicians and nurses closely monitor each patient’s progress. With CNT’s superior client care and high quality treatment, Dr. Cidambi and her clinical team have successfully detoxed over 600 patients in nearly three years.

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Marisa Amador
Rubenstein PR
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