The Bay Area Alliance Prescription Drug Advisory Committee is expanding its effort to take back expired or unneeded prescription and non-prescription medications Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at three Take It Back locations.
This is the sixth such event to decrease prescription drug abuse and is in coordination with a national effort through the Drug Enforcement Agency to remove dangerous controlled and commonly misused substances from community medicine cabinets. The three locations include:
UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes – 2240 Gulf Freeway South, League City
Houston Police Dept – Clear Lake Substation – 2855 Bay Area Blvd., Clear Lake City
UTMB Health Eye Center – 700 University Blvd., Galveston
Prescription drug abuse is on the rise throughout the United States and has become especially troublesome in the greater Houston area. “This initiative is so important because it keeps these potentially dangerous medications out of the reach of children,” said Jon D. Thompson, director of the Southeast Texas Poison Center. “It prevents abuse, misuse, or accidental poisonings by youth as well as adults.”
In the last five local Take Back initiatives, this group has collected over 2,400 pounds of medications for proper disposal. This is the first time to partner with the Houston Police Department’s Clear Lake Substation and UTMB Health at Galveston.
Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Much of this rise has been attributed to the increase of prescription drug abuse. According to Bay Area Alliance Coalition Manager Amanda McLauchlin, “This effort encourages everyone to do their part in emptying these potentially hazardous drugs from their medicine cabinets.”
Participants will just “drive through” the drop-off site at the UTMB Victory Lakes facility where volunteers (including law enforcement and pharmacy personnel) will take medications for proper and secure disposal. The entire process is completely anonymous and no identifying information other than zip code will be requested or noted.
These efforts would not be possible without partners such as the Southeast Texas Poison Center, Texas Pharmacy Board, Texas Attorney Generals’ Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Friendswood Police Department, Galveston, Kiwanis Club, Houston Police Department, Galveston Police Department, UTMB, UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes, University of Houston Police Academy, and Walgreens Pharmacy. For more information, contact the Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families at 281-284-0370.