DoD

April 26, 2013

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday

The Directorate of Emergency Services will host a collection site for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Take Back Initiative from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Post Exchange parking lot.
This is an opportunity for Soldiers, retirees, civilians and Family members who have accumulated unwanted, unused prescription and non-prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications. Needles, aerosols such as inhalers and illegal/illicit non-prescribed narcotics will not be accepted.
There will be a drive-thru lane and walk-up collection area. DES will offer children’s identification kits and static displays. For more information, call 533.5249.

WASHINGTON – National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be observed locally and nationwide on Saturday. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the day is specifically set aside to allow an opportunity to empty medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, purses and pillboxes of unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs, and take them to authorized collection sites in local communities.

Drug overdoses and brain damage linked to long-term drug abuse killed an estimated 37,485 people in 2009, the latest year for which preliminary data are available, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Drugs now kill more people than motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.,” said Maj. Clifton Dabbs, a physician and epidemiologist at the U.S. Army Public Health Command.

Prescription drug use has increased over the years in the military. About 17 percent of military personnel reported misusing prescription drugs, including stimulants (other than methamphetamine), tranquilizers/muscle relaxers, sedatives/barbiturates, pain relievers, anabolic steroids, and erectile dysfunction drugs, according to the 2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health-Related Behaviors.

As in the civilian population, pain relievers were the most commonly misused/abused type of prescription drug across the military services and in the Army specifically.

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

Dabbs said that the abuse of opiates is becoming more prevalent across the Army.

“Our surveillance shows that there is a rapid increase in the numbers of Soldiers being diagnosed with opiate dependence or abuse since 2005,” said Dabbs.

Opiate drugs are narcotic sedatives that depress activity of the central nervous system, reduce pain and induce sleep. When misused, opiates can become deadly.

“Opiates act centrally on the nervous system and can actually suppress your ability to breathe,” said Dabbs.

For this reason, it is important to get rid of painkillers as soon as possible.

“It is highly recommended to flush any narcotic pain killer down the toilet when they are no longer needed for the treatment of pain in which they were prescribed,” said Dabbs. “This is because the risk of someone stealing them, taking them by accident, and or the temptation to use them recreationally when drinking is too high and the consequences can be deadly,” said Dabbs.

While flushing is not a recommended disposal method for many drugs, Dabbs’ advice about opiates is seconded by authorities such as the Food and Drug Administration.

Dabbs also pointed out that drugs can lose potency and effectiveness if they are stored improperly or kept too long.

Since the opportunity to dispose of unwanted and expired medications comes around only once a year, Dabbs thinks it’s an opportunity that should be seized.

“In the interests of both health and safety, it’s best to rid homes and barracks of unneeded prescriptions,” Dabbs said. “Disposing of old prescriptions through the take-back program removes the risk of misuse and precludes accidental overdose by children or pets.”

For personnel who are unable to visit an authorized collection site, the Food and Drug Administration recommends disposing of prescription medication by taking the medication out of its original container and mixing with kitty litter or used coffee grounds, then double bagging the item, and putting out with the trash.

Past Prescription Drug Take-Back Days have been very successful, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. On Sept. 29, 2012, more than 488,000 pounds of unwanted or expired medication was collected at 5,263 take-back sites.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

Air Force: AFRL bio-signature research may save firefighters’ lives

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Imagine facing down a raging fire, up close, with little or no time to save lives and protect property, hauling 75-pound hoses up multiple flights of stairs; carrying victims out and repeatedly putting your life on the line. Then imagine doing it nearly every day. It’s an extreme job...
 
 
DoD

Air Force: Career Intermission Program application window opens July 1

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Career Intermission Program application window opens July 1 for eligible Airmen interested in taking one to three years off active duty for personal or professional needs. Applications must reach the Air Force Personnel Center no later than Aug. 31, with the total force selection panel...
 
 
DoD

DOD Civilian personnel chief discusses future force

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department’s top Civilian personnel policy chief discussed developments intended to address Civilian workforce challenges and improve performance management and resourcing as part of the Future of the Force initiative during a panel discussion held here Tuesday. Paige Hinkle-Bowles, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Civilian personnel policy, participated in...
 

 
DoD

Utility jobs training to open for troops, veterans, spouses

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department announced Tuesday a partnership to launch employment training for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses in highly skilled utility industry jobs. The Utility Industry Workforce Initiative is a public-private partnership comprising DOD, the departments of Energy, Veterans Affairs and Labor, and private-sector companies Edison Electric I...
 
 
DoD
Air-Force

Air Force: Airmen foster ‘wingmanship’ through gaming

Airmen from the 319th Air Base Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., play an interactive video game in their dormitory dayroom, May 28. Gaming has become a popular way for Grand Forks Airmen to connect outside of duty hours...
 
 
DoD

DOD: Secretary of Defense joins Facebook

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ash Carter became the first secretary of defense to join Facebook May 29, Pentagon officials announced. In a statement released after Carter joined, officials said the secretary of defense will be able to personally communicate with nearly three million Service members and Civilians on the social media platform. The defense secretary’s...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>