Is your medicine cabinet filled with expired drugs or medications you no longer use? How should you dispose of them?
Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or thrown them in the household trash unless this information specifically instructs you to do so. The safest way to discard medications is by following the guidelines of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
The National Take Back Initiative will be held Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Central New York and commities nationwide, with more than 4,700 sites participating.
More Americans abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that the drugs are often obtained from family and friends.
Last year, more than 242,000 pounds -- 121 tons -- of prescription drugs were collected at nearly 4,100 sites operated by government, community, public health and law enforcement partners, according to a DEA news release.
"The overwhelming public response to DEA's first nationwide Take-Back event last fall not only rid homes of potentially harmful prescription drugs, but was an unprecedented opportunity to educate everyone about the growing prescription drug abuse problem," DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in an agency news release.
"Studies have shown that, for many, prescription drugs are the very first drugs they abuse and all too often they aren't the last. That is why we are committed to helping Americans keep their homes safe by ridding their medicine cabinets of expired, unused, and unwanted drugs," she added.