April 30 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Published 9:20 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

Overdose-related deaths are on the rise in Mississippi—and all too often, the cause can be found in
household medicine cabinets. That’s why Mississippians are urged to safely dispose of unneeded
medications by participating in the 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 30.
For a list of free, anonymous disposal locations in Mississippi, visit https://odfree.org/takeback. Locations closest to Jefferson Davis County are Sumrall Drug Store on Highway 42 in Sumrall,  Family Practice West and CVS in Hattiesburg and the Mississippi Highway Patrol office and Kings Daughters Hospital in Brookhaven.

“Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs, but we can take action to prevent drugs from
being misused by safely disposing of unneeded medications,” said Jan Dawson, program director,
Mississippi Public Health Institute. “We’re asking Mississippians to locate a disposal site in their
community and drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications as soon as possible.”
Overdoses are now the leading cause of death among U.S. adults 18-45. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention estimates that more than 106,000 people died in the U.S. as the result of a drug
overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021, with opioid-related deaths accounting for
75% of all overdose deaths. A report from the Mississippi Opioid and Heroin Data Collaborative
showed that drug overdose deaths in Mississippi rose by 49% in one year (2019-2020).

Most people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or
friend, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
For more than a decade, Take Back Day has helped Americans protect their families and loved ones by
easily ridding their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or no longer
needed—that too often become a gateway to addiction. Working in close partnership with local law
enforcement, Take Back Day has collected nearly 7,262 tons of drugs nationwide, with 27.8 tons
collected in Mississippi.On April 30, DEA and its law enforcement partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches and other
solid forms of prescription drugs at designated drop-off sites. Liquids (including intravenous
solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. DEA will accept vaping
devices and cartridges, provided lithium batteries are removed.

A variety of drug collection sites in Mississippi are open year-round for safe disposal of prescription
medications. As a rule, unused medications should never be thrown in the trash or flushed down the
toilet. Make Mississippi OD Free provides a list of 101 disposal sites and information about overdose
data, prevention and treatment at https://odfree.org/takeback.

Year-round receptacles are available at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments
and business. Additionally, with the passage of the DUMP Opioids Act in 2021, the public may now
use drop boxes at Veterans Administration medical centers to dispose of controlled substance
prescription medications. Check with your local VA health facility for more information.

Executed by Mississippi Public Health Institute, Make Mississippi OD Free is a program administered
by the Mississippi Department of Health and supported by a federal grant initiative funded by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program’s purpose, called Overdose to
Action (OD2A), is to collect comprehensive and timely data on nonfatal and fatal overdoses to inform
OD prevention and response efforts nationwide. Data for the initiative is provided by the Mississippi
Opioid and Heroin Data Collaborative, a multiagency partnership among the Mississippi State
Department of Health, Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Mississippi Board of Pharmacy
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Bureau of
Narcotics.
Learn more at https://odfree.org.