OMAHA, Nebraska – As part of its continuing efforts to reduce drug misuse and overdose, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is launching a winter campaign urging the public to “Secure Your
Meds.” The current health crisis has magnified the importance of addressing the issue of prescription-drug misuse. With Americans spending more time at home due to the pandemic, now is a good opportunity to clean out medicine cabinets and secure expired or unused medications. This one action can prevent medications from getting into the hands of children and others who may misuse them.
The goal of the Secure Your Meds campaign is to raise awareness of the responsibility to keep prescription and other medications stored securely. Medications that are no longer used or have reached their expiration date should be secured until they can be disposed of in one of the 11,000 authorized, year-round collection sites, or until the next DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, when patients can dispose of unused medications properly at a DEA collection site.
“Nearly 70 percent of drug overdose deaths in the United States involve opioids,” Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter, Jr., said. “Many of these deaths could be prevented through the administration of Naloxone (Narcan) which reverses the overdose symptoms, and is available without a prescription from a doctor at most major pharmacy chains throughout the country. Naloxone can be given to an overdose victim by friends, family members or first responders. By safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications we will save lives.”
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused and misused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.
For more information on authorized collection sites, visit:
For information on safe at-home disposal, visit: