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Expired Medication Has a Home Sept. 25th

by | Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Life, Recovery, Treatment

Home Addiction Expired Medication Has a Home Sept. 25th

Maybe I’ve been living in a cave for the past 24 years, but this is the first I’ve heard of a drug take-back. Two days from now, the US government is funding a take-back initiative across the country, inclusive of over 3,400 sites. The DEA is partnering with local community, health and law enforcers to encourage individuals to free themselves of unwanted, unused, or expired medications between 10am and 2pm.
I think this initiative has been created with positive intent and represents an incredible concept that will hopefully be adopted moreso in the coming years. People don’t have to hold onto their five remaining percosetts from that wisdom tooth operation. No longer does one have to think twice about taking expired medication as of 1988, and they can dispose of them properly. The pharmaceutical take-back program is free and anonymous. Just like the Narcotics Anonymous meetings…
Part of the government’s motive in carrying out this take-back initiative is that of reprieve from addiction. Drug abuse and prescription pill overdoses are climbing at an alarming rate in the US. I understand that the government’s theory is, get rid of the prescription drugs, and watch the number of people who become addicted to them sink. Unfortunately I don’t see their efforts playing out as planned. Addicts tend to find any and all means to chase the high. Whether it’s buying pills online or combing through the underground market to find a local dealer, they’ll probably continue to use and abuse until their family hits them with an intervention, or worse consequences befall them. The Narcotics Anonymous fellowship shares the slogan that the only places addiction and alcoholism will lead you are jails, institutions or death. Thus, I would be surprised if the demand for prescription drugs decreased just because the supply was tightened through this initiative. In the most extreme cases, addicts will bypass the oxycontins and amphetamine salts of the world in exchange for marijuana, cocaine, and other no-prescription drugs floating around from one drug dealer’s hands to the next.
An article in USA today quotes Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske announcing that “prescription drug abuse is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and take-back events like this one are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health. The Federal/state/and local collaboration represented in this initiative is key in our national efforts to reduce pharmaceutical drug diversion and abuse.” Kerlikowske operates with nobility, but I wouldn’t enjoy his presence when he compares stats re: addiction drug use, a year from September 25th. Despite the variety of participants in the take-back program, I remain skeptical that the initiative will actually keep addicts from using. I do think it’s a great way to get rid of dangerous drugs, keep them out of medicine cabinets, and reduce the hazard unused drugs pose to the community and to children. In terms of that aspect, it’s a net gain for society. Because the addictive brain is partially a byproduct of being prewired from birth, I can’t imagine the genetic predisposition won’t lead the addict in another direction. Or cause the addict to simply work harder at obtaining prescription drugs if that is his/her drug of choice. This is an example of a “great in theory, less so in practice” movement.