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By STEVE MOON IMCOM
SAN ANTONIO One of Americas leading causes of death is currently lurking in your bathroom cabinet, kitchen or bedside table: prescription drugs. To combat this killer, U.S. Army Installation Management Command is participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Oct. 26. This initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Abuse of prescription drugs, whether codeine from your last root canal or vicodin for persistent back pain, stands as a leading cause of accidental death in America. It ranks right behind marijuana as the nations most prevalent illegal drug problem, and more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administrations National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
To help address the problem and foster safe and healthy Army communities, Army installations across the United States are once again partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and state and local law enforcement agencies Oct. 26 in support of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Military installations will provide drop off locations for all active duty, family members, civilian employees and retirees to anonymously turn in medications or prescription drugs.
This event is a prime opportunity to raise community awareness and educate military communities on the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and help make military installations a safer place to live and work.
U.S. Army Installation Management Command garrison commanders will support the National Prescription Take Back Day to help raise public awareness of the Department of Defenses commitment to a drug-free military community.
Leslie Sweeney, Army Substance Abuse Program for headquarters IMCOM stated we have installations throughout the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. We hope to surpass previous years and collect and dispose of more than 5,000 pounds of unwanted, expired and unused prescription drugs.
Throughout the United States approximately 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies also participated in the previous two National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. The American public has turned in more than 5,000 pounds of pills and medication during the previous events.
Garrison Army Substance Abuse Programs offices will serve as installation points of contact and coordinate with the local DEA POC for the proper procedures of medication handling and disposal.
The collection points will be in areas of high visibility to the military community.
Installations will have certified Law Enforcement personnel (military police/Department of the Army civilian police) physically present at the drop off locations for the duration of National Prescription Take Back Day activities per DEA protocol.
For more information about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day or to find a drop-off location, visit the DEA Web site at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html or contact your local Army Substance Abuse Program representative.