Old prescription drugs pose health threat

According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined.The Partnership for a Drug Free America reports that each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. "Many do not know that prescription drug abuse is an epidemic. Unused prescription medicines that remain in homes can be misused or abused if they end up in the wrong hands of children, family or friends," said Allan Korn, M.D., BCBSA senior vice president and chief medical officer. In addition, experts advised that usual methods of disposing unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - both pose potential safety and environmental health hazards. This year on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, the DEA will have more than 5,100 locations across the U.S. available for the public to dispose unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. In Downey, prescriptions can be dropped off in front of the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

********** Published: April 28, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 2