The first-ever Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Fort Huachuca is Sept. 29 at the Main Post Exchange parking lot, near Cochise Theater. Law enforcement personnel will be present from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to collect and dispose of unused or unwanted and expired prescription drugs. The U.S. Army, Pharmacy Services at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center and the Directorate of Emergency Services, Fort Huachuca, are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration to support this event. Chris Lambiase, chief of Pharmacy, RWBAHC, will be there to assist and answer any questions.
Many medications, particularly prescription painkillers, sit unused and unsecured in medicine cabinets, making them readily available. A 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health notes most young people who misuse prescription medications obtain them from friends or family. Abuse of prescription medication is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Prescription drug abuse has other unintended consequences, such as increased prescription medication abuse and diversion of drugs.
The Army’s previous efforts contributed to the overall DEA National Prescription Take-Back Day program, which netted more than 376,593 pounds (188 tons) of medications at the 5,361 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states. In the past Ft Huachuca has partnered with the City of Sierra Vista at the collection site in the Ace parking lot. The Army is displaying its dedication to service members and their Families with the additional collection site at the PX parking lot.
Lambiase suggests residents of Fort Huachuca take advantage of the opportunity. “The military shares the nation’s focus and concern with the potential abuse, diversion and incorrect disposal of unused or expired prescription medications. The Army’s collaborative effort with the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an important opportunity for our Soldiers and their Families to safely dispose of medications that are currently stored in our homes and barracks. Soldiers and Family members should open up their medicine cabinets, look for any expired or unused prescription medications, and properly dispose of them at designated locations at their respective camp, post or station.”
Directorate of Emergency Services will provide security at the drop off location, as only law enforcement officials can legally collect unwanted prescription drugs at these events. Collection points are always held in areas of high visibility to the military community.