TAMPA, Fla. (Oct 26, 2020) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), local law enforcement agencies and the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance (HCADA) participated in a national Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 24, 2020, that removed more than a ton of unused, expired or unwanted medications from the community.
“National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, generally held each spring and fall, allows people to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of any unused or expired prescription drugs safely and anonymously to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths,” said HCADA Executive Director Cindy Grant. “The Spring 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, so we’re pleased to see such great turn out at the Fall event.”
At the October event last year more than 1,100 pounds of medication were collected at eight locations.
The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly 57.2 million Americans, ages 12 or older, had abused or misused prescription drugs in the past year. That number has jumped from the 19 million reported in the 2016 survey. It’s crucial to be aware of the dangers of keeping these old pills, particularly narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, making them potentially available for prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drug abuse is use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed or for the experience or feelings elicited. According to several national surveys, prescription medications, like those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders and anxiety, are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana among illicit drug users. Consequences of this abuse have been steadily worsening, reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits and overdose deaths.
New this year residents were also able to receive, for free, prescription lockboxes and Deterra drug disposal baggies at the drop-off locations for their own use at home. The combination lockboxes keep any medications you need to have at home safe from theft or abuse, and the drug disposal baggies protect the community from water or ground pollution through unsafe disposal methods like tossing them in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet.
About Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance:
Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance (HCADA) has been in existence, active in the community and supportive of law enforcement, the court system, prevention agencies, and substance abuse treatment providers since its inception in 1989. In 2003, HCADA restructured as a 501(c) (3) to apply for grant funding. Subsequently, HCADA expanded its community based alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse education and prevention activities. It participates as well in the development of related planning strategies, statewide in scope, for the betterment of the Hillsborough County community. HCADA offers open membership and participation to all interested individuals and continues to provide a public forum for sharing information and new ideas. For more information about HCADA, visit www.hcada.com.