On Saturday April 28, 2012, the Drug Enforcement Agency planned a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Working with local officials, the DEA asserts that the Drug Take-Back Day reduces the risk for abuse of prescriptions. While my parents were a bit too wary about my sister’s and my potential for drug abuse, I can’t say that I didn’t regularly go through my parents’ medicine cabinets in an attempt to find the good pills. I never found any good ones (apparently they hid those). Regardless, the DEA is holding two Take-Back Days a year. Theoretically, if there are any good pills in those cabinets and a kid wants to get a hold of them, they’re going to find them in the six months or six weeks the pills are sitting there. Getting rid of them twice a year won’t help much.
One article about the Marion County Medication Disposal Day describes someone getting a dental procedure and not taking the pain killers at all and just putting them in the medicine cabinet (Steven, 2012). That is so far past my conception. I was the girl who finished the bottle, and then went back to the oral surgeon complaining of pain so I could get another bottle. While that was over two years ago, I still have a bit of resentment about the fact that someone stole the last five pills in the second bottle. It is this inherent drug seeking behavior that is reflected in my creeping through my parents medicine cabinets stoned when I was a teenager. I never did find the pain killers or strong anti-anxiety medications I knew my parents had, but that didn’t stop me from looking every now and again.
The point is that if you don’t want your teen taking those extra pain pills or anti-anxiety meds, or really anything fun that you get to take, then do not keep it in an obvious place like the drawers underneath your vanity or your medicine cabinet. If you are going to try to keep your meds all to yourself (selfish), then hide them. Simply disposing of them every six months is postponing the inevitable; they are teenagers, drug-seeking young potential addicts going through experimental phases, not toddlers.
The Drug Enforcement Agency says that these medication disposal events “dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse” (Drug Enforcement Agency, 2012). Not only is this unrealistic because of the fact that little addict hands are going to get into these bottles way faster than the Medication Take-Back Day rolls around, but how can they even measure that? Yeah, they’re getting a lot of medications, but how many of them are controlled substances (the fun pills)? In addition, how many are coming from households where teens live or visit? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of kids that have had fun in their grandma’s medicine cabinet, but how many pills are coming out of homes where teens or adults could not abuse them. Furthermore, adults who are abusing pills aren’t going to be the ones turning in pills. All in all, the drug czars (sorry DEA) made another foolish reason to toot their own horn.
Drug Enforcement Agency. (2012). National Take-Back Initiative. Retrieved 2012, from Office of Diversion Control: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/
Steven, J. (2012, April 26). Marion Star. Retrieved 2012, from Medication Disposal Day seeing great sucess: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/
Filed under: Uncategorized · Tags: abusing painkillers, dea, drug addiction, drug diversion, Drug Enforcement Agency, medication abuse, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, painkillers, prescription bill abuse, teenage addiction, teenage drug abuse