April 27th, 2016 was Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency has started a drug take-back initiative in the face of an ever-increasing wave of opiate drug addiction and abuse. The DEA holds this event nationally a few times each year. Each time tons of prescriptions were turned in. This is what the DEA says:
“The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and participating local law enforcement are coordinating a nationwide drug “take-back” day on September 27th from 10 am to 2 pm. This one-day event will provide residents with no cost anonymous collection of unwanted and expired medicines.”
The nation is facing a crisis from opiate addiction. The facts are staggering. Here is what the National Drug Addiction on Drug Abuse has to say on the issue:
“The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies. It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise. For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999. There is also growing evidence to suggest a relationship between increased non-medical use of opioid analgesics and heroin abuse in the United States.”
The situation is quite serious and all methods to improve the situation must be explored. Currently, we are failing to defeat this menace. Like previous iterations of the war on drugs, this is no different. We should start from compassion, instead of retribution.