The misuse and abuse of prescription drugs has become an epidemic that unfortunately affects too many lives. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, six million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs that year, and the majority of those drugs were obtained from family and friends, often stolen from their medicine cabinets. To address this crucial public safety and public health issue, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) developed National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to raise awareness and provide Americans with a safe, anonymous, and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs.
IWCO Direct, with the support of the Steel Partners Wellness Council, is joining the effort to combat the opioid epidemic. We focus on raising awareness and creating action steps to promote the safety and well-being of our employees and their families. We know opioid misuse is a national crisis and addiction affects thousands of families, including many in our own communities. Participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is just one important step in a multi-pronged campaign that the Steel Partners family of companies has launched to make a difference in the opioid crisis.
Between our initiatives in October 2018 and April 2019, approximately 1,200 Deterra bags were made available to Steel Partners employees. Deterra is an important product for responsible drug disposal as it allows anyone to get rid of unused prescription or non-prescription drugs in a way that is private, environmentally friendly, and renders the drug inert and unable to be misused.
A special thank you to Denise Becker, IWCO Direct benefits administrator, who has been instrumental in bringing Steel Partners Wellness Council initiatives to IWCO Direct and making this National Prescription Drug Take Back Day a success.
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Prescriptions When it Isn’t National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
While we encouraged IWCO Direct employees to use their Deterra bag to safely dispose of any unused prescriptions from the convenience of their own home, there are other ways you can dispose of any unwanted, expired, or unused prescription drugs any time of the year. Since it’s spring-cleaning season, you can clean up your medicine cabinet by:
- Finding your local drug take-back location, which provides a safe, anonymous opportunity to dispose of your unused prescriptions away from home.
- If there isn’t a prescription drug take-back program available in your area, and no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling, you can remove the medicine from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty bag, or other container to prevent medicine from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October 2018, the DEA collected 914,236 pounds of unused prescription drugs. IWCO Direct and all of the Steel Partners family of affiliated companies participated in that effort. It’s great to know these drugs are no longer sitting in cabinets where they can be easily found and misused. We are proud of these efforts and will continue to participate in the bi-annual collection days.
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