In the throes of an epidemic, FIU says throw out your old prescription drugs

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Logo - DEA

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 29

As the nation struggles to understand the opioid epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worries the total number of related deaths may be underestimated. With a count of 91 overdoses a day, the possibility of more is hard to fathom.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 29.

Opioids are a hefty class of drugs that includes heroin yet the public may not realize that the issue goes beyond the notorious narcotic. Addictions to legal prescription pain relievers—from oxycodone and tramadol for moderate pain to fentanyl/carfentanil for acute cancer pain—are widespread among patients as well as their family and/or friends.

At FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Dean Tomás Guilarte is working closely with Miami-Dade Police on the Opioid Task-Force established by the mayor earlier this year to the address the public health crisis.

“The leftover pain relievers you may have in your medicine cabinet could put you or someone in your family at risk of a devastating dependence that usually doesn’t end well,” Dean Guilarte said. “We want to help eliminate this risk.”

Guilarte welcomes the community to take part in tomorrow’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day as Stempel College and FIU University Police will provide a safe and anonymous container for unwanted, unused or expired painkillers in the lobby of the police department at Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is spearheading this prevention initiative across the country with disposal bins appearing at police departments from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In 2016, opioid-related overdoses took the lives of approximately 4,000 people in Florida. And that number could be higher, according to research revealed by the CDC at its Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference on Monday.

– By Galena Mosovich

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  1. Nothing is wrong with taking medications as prescribed for pain. This article addresses the issue of unnecessary deaths and over-doses related to the abuse of prescribed medications. Safe disposal of expired or left-over medications is a practice aimed at reducing the overall number of casualties resulting from the opioid epidemic in this country.

  2. What about the people that have real pain issues. The Doctors want to give multiple shots of cortisone and leryca. These are worse than Tramidol. I am addicted to not being in pain. Its a problem for a lot of real people in real pain.


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