Palmetto Health Richland participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 27

Palmetto Health Richland, as part of the Midlands Regional Trauma Advisory Committee, is participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The event encourages the public to drop off expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs at Palmetto Health Richland, 5 Medical Park Drive, front lawn. National Prescription Take Back Day aims to provide safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous. Only pills or patches will be accepted. No liquids, needles or sharps will be accepted.

“Palmetto Health Trauma Center strives to educate and inform the community about the potential for abuse and harm of prescription pain relievers. Through our collaborative efforts with local hospitals and EMS agencies, we are excited to be a prescription drug take back site during the Drug Enforcement Administration National Take Back Initiative,” said Jeremy Reeves, M.D., trauma surgeon and chair of the Midlands Regional Trauma Advisory Council. “It is imperative that unused prescription drugs are not getting into the wrong hands for recreational use.”

Last April, Americans turned in almost 1 million pounds of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. The DEA encourages families to turn in medicines:

· Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

· Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

· Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

· Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

“The vast majority of the young people we treat for a substance use disorder have experience abusing prescription medications that were obtained from a family medicine cabinet,” said Bryan Fox, director of Special Projects with Addiction Recovery Services at Palmetto Health and manager of the Adolescent Recovery Center. “Because the prevailing belief is that prescription medications are safer than illicit street drugs, most young people use them without regard for the inherent dangers of addiction and overdose. The single most effective thing you can do to protect your family is to properly dispose of old medications.”

For more information about Palmetto Health Trauma Center outreach programs, visit PalmettoHealth.org.