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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are You AWARxE ? Part 1 of 4

We all know how easy it is to forget about a prescription that was never finished and now sits in the back of the medicine cabinet. Proper drug disposal protects your loved ones from misuse. Prescription drugs, often found at home, are the most commonly abused drugs among 12 and 13 year olds. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation and their AWARxE Consumer Protection Program are helping to stop this growing trend.
April 28 is the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Anyone with unused medications can drop them off at designated collection sites on April 28. The DEA coordinates with local law enforcement and community partners to provide thousands of sites across the country so that unwanted drugs are disposed of safely and legally. Sites will accept both prescription and nonprescription pills for disposal.
The Mommies Network recently spoke with Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Dr. Carmen Catizone, about the dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse. Dr. Catizone is the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a licensed pharmacist. He currently serves as a Governor of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Board of Directors and Chair of the PTCB Certification Council. Dr. Catizone is regularly called to serve as an expert witness for the US Government in the areas of pharmacy practice and regulation on both the state and national level issues.

TMN: Why can't I just flush or throw away expired prescriptions?
Dr. Catizone: Flushing certain medications or improper disposal in the garbage can lead to safety and environmental hazards. Proper disposal of unneeded medications helps prevent accidental ingestion by people and pets in the home, and also helps protect the environment by keeping drugs out of the local water system and the local environment. When drugs are brought to an authorized DEA collection site, or other legal disposal program, they are processed for safe destruction.
FDA does recommend that certain drugs are flushed to prevent danger to people and pets in the home. FDA has determined that the risks of accidental ingestion of these select medications, outweighs the small risk to the environment. A link to the list of drugs that should be flushed for disposal, as well as additional information, is available on the Medication Disposal page of the AWARxE Web site.
TMN: I already handle medicines responsibly. Why should I care about this event?
Dr. Catizone: While you and your family handle medications responsibly, remember that sometimes prescription drugs are taken out of medicine cabinets by visitors to the home, such as a teen’s guests, guests at a party, or hired workers completing a home repair.
Another concern is accidental ingestion of medications by children. The number of emergency department visits due to medication poisoning for children under age five increased 30% from 2001 to 2008, and child self-exposure to prescription products accounted for 55% of the emergency room visits, according to a study in The Journal of Pediatrics.
By securely storing the medications you need, and disposing of unneeded medications, you can prevent these drugs from falling into the wrong hands. And, by sharing this information with others, you can help to protect their loved ones, your friends, and your community by helping to prevent prescription drug abuse.

Join us tomorrow for Part 2 of our interview with Dr. Catizone.
Discover More:
· CDC Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work · Safe Medication Disposal ·AWARxE: Get Local · FDA Drug Disposal Information · NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin - Prescription Drugs ·The Road to Nowhere: Prescription Drug Abuse educational slideshow · Video: The Road to Nowhere · FDA Video: Teaching Kids About Using Medicine Safely

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