I am pleased to announce that on April 27th, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide another opportunity for the public to help their communities prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. To participate, please bring your medications for disposal to one of the more than 5,000 collection sites listed on the National Take-Back Initiative page on the DEA website, www.dea.gov. The service is free and anonymous—no questions asked.
On April 14, I had the distinct honor of testifying on prescription drug abuse before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade as part of a diverse panel of experts that included national non-profits, federal regulators, state governors, family members of victims of prescription drug abuse, the pharmaceutical industry, health professionals, and other stakeholders. The hearing was called by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), who chairs the subcommittee, and Ranking Member Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).
Headline after headline indicate a rise in prescription (Rx) drug abuse among teens – second only to marijuana. In fact, today prescription drugs are abused more than cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamine combined. In response to this epidemic, CADCA designed the Rx Abuse Prevention Toolkit: From Awareness to Action. This unique toolkit provides the facts, approaches, strategies and messages that coalitions can use to move communities beyond that first stage of awareness into action.
A study by Quest Diagnostics found that five states that have recently implemented comprehensive prescription drug abuse prevention programs showed the highest rate of decline in prescription drug abuse nationwide. Findings suggest that broad, collaborative measures, including prescription drug databases and physician and patient education may be the most effective at bringing the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic to a screeching halt.
This week, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, a blueprint for drug policy in the United States. The Strategy includes a focus on drug prevention and highlights significant increases in heroin and prescription drug abuse as key challenges.