WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy Medicine is building on its existing partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) by participating in the second annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, April 30.
The event offers communities a safe venue to turn in expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs to a local drop off site anonymously and free of charge. This is important as medications that are kept in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, abuse, and theft.
Take-Back events also ensure drugs are environmentally discarded to decrease negative environmental effects and decrease the safety risks involved with drug disposal.
According to the DEA's Web site, the Drug Take-Back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
"Navy Medicine's partnership with the DEA on this initiative has led to a significant decrease in the number of prescription drugs in our communities, making them safer, with a decreased chance of drug abuse," said Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., U.S. Navy Surgeon General. "I encourage all to participate in this advantageous event to keep our families safe from the harmful effects of unused and un-needed prescription drugs."
Navy Medicine has partnered with the DEA since last year's National Drug Take-Back event in September. Since that event, several Navy Medicine facilities, including Naval Hospital and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., conduct drug take-back events quarterly.
When Camp Lejeune held its first Drug Take-Back event December 2010, approximately 20,000 units of medications, including pills; grams of creams and ointments; milliliters of liquid medications; inhalers; and prefilled syringes were collected.
The following quarter, the facility doubled that number and to date, at Camp Lejeune alone, more than 60,000 units have been collected during several Drug Take-Back events.
Naval Hospital Bremerton, Wash., Marine Corps Base and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Naval Medical Center San Diego, are participating in this weekend's event.
"We hope to continue to grow these numbers and facilities during this weekend's event and in the upcoming Drug Take-Back events, ever taking more unused medications out of our communities, while sustaining relationships with law enforcement," said Robinson.
Collection sites in local communities can be found by going to www.dea.gov and clicking on the "Got Drugs?" banner at the top of the home page, which connects to a database that citizens can search by zip code, city or county. This site is continuously updated with new take-back locations.
For more information on the participating Navy Medicine facilities, please contact the hospitals directly.
For more news from Navy Medicine, visit www.navy.mil/local/mednews/.