Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Disposal of Prescription Drugs

Death from legal prescription drugs is becoming more and more common in Utah today. Seven people per week in Utah are dying from use of legal prescriptions. Part of the problem is that adolescents do not perceive the use of prescription drugs as "drug abuse". From 1992-2003, opioid abuse by teens increased by 542%, and from 1999 to 2004, unintentional drug overdose deaths increased by 68%.

**Congress recently passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 to give consumers a safe and responsible way to dispose of unused prescription drugs. Consumers currently seeking to reduce the amount of expired or unwanted prescription drugs in their homes have few disposal options, increasing the risk drug abuse and poisonings. The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 seeks to reduce these risks by permitting individuals to deliver their unused medications to responsible state and private drug take-back programs.

Up to 17 percent of prescribed medication goes unused, and if improperly disposed, may contribute to drug diversion and environmental problems. The bill would allow consumers to give controlled substances to specially designated individuals for disposal, such as law enforcement officials. It also would allow long-term care facilities to dispose of certain prescription drugs on behalf of their residents.

Teenagers now abuse prescription drugs more than any other illegal drug except for marijuana, and the majority of teens who abuse these drugs get them for free, usually from friends and relatives and often without their knowledge.

The doctors of Willow Creek Pediatrics want to stress the importance of proper disposal of ANY leftover prescription medication. There are numerous locations all over the valley for disposal. You can visit for permanent locations all over the state for prescription medication disposal. Everyone should join in the battle of abuse of prescription drugs. Be proactive in your house and clean out your medicine cabinet today!

**Information provided by

***Statistics provided by Dr. Jay Bischoff, to educate medical providers about the dangers of prescribing more narcotics for pain than necessary

****For information on "Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day", on October 29th, 2011, visit, and watch here for future posts!

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