The national “Take-Back” day is Saturday, Oct. 26. It's an effort to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs at collection sites between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They are being collected in Albany, Troy, Watervliet, East Greenbush, Crossgates Mall and several other spots.
“The abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs happens in many, often innocent, ways, but the costs of such abuse can be astronomical,” said U. S. Attorney Richard Hartunian. “1 in 8 teens has reported getting high on over-the-counter cough medicine1 and 1 in 12 high school seniors reported nonmedical use of the prescription pain reliever Vicodin along with 1 in 20 reporting they’ve used OxyContin.2 After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused drugs by our youth.3 These aren’t drugs being manufactured behind closed doors and sold on street corners. These are substances readily available in each of our homes. We all have a responsibility in helping to stop this scary and upward trend of prescription drug abuse.”
The trends of prescription drug abuse are escalating. More than one-half of the estimated 2.4 million first-time prescription drug abusers were females and about one-third of them were between 12 and 17 years old.4 Worse yet, among all young adults ages 18 to 25, 5.9% report using nonmedical drugs within the past month in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health study.
“What’s most alarming about these trends of use is where young people are obtaining these drugs,” warns U.S. Attorney Hartunian. “Over half of those who reported nonmedical drug use said they were given the drugs by a friend or relative.6 Close to 20 percent said they took the substances from a friend or relative.7 In response, we must do all we can to monitor the prescription drugs that are in our possession, discard unused medications properly and talk with young people about the very real dangers of prescription drug abuse.”