SALT LAKE CITY — Today, the Utah Attorney General’s Office is once again spreading the word about the National Take-Back Initiative, which occurs Saturday, October 23, 2021. This is an opportunity for people to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired medications, and unwanted e-cigarettes or vaping apparatuses. FIND A TAKE-BACK LOCATION HERE.
Attorney General Sean D. Reyes continues his passionate work to combat addiction and to educate Utahns about legitimate painkiller use.
“Prescription drug abuse, particularly for painkillers, has risen to epidemic levels nationwide, and Utah is no exception,” said Attorney General Reyes. “Prescription drugs, when administered and taken responsibly, can be a productive tool for pain management, but far too often, what begins innocently can lead to dependence and devastation.”
Some facts to consider:
- In addition to over-prescription, unauthorized access to even properly prescribed painkillers is one of the biggest drivers toward addiction.
- Many users of street drugs like heroin start by abusing their own painkillers, then move to find other people’s prescription drugs.
- Addicts may be soccer moms or executives. They can be our kids, grandkids, kids from the block, good students or bad students included.
“No community is immune,” AG Reyes added. “Addiction touches rural and urban areas, uptown or downtown neighborhoods alike. And whether we realize it or not, our medicine cabinets may be where addicts are looking next or where they may have already been. By teaming up on Take Back Day with partners like the DEA, AARP, businesses, and citizens across our state, we will recover hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of prescription drugs.”
Improper disposal of unused and expired medication leads to damage to our environment. In the fight against opioid addiction, the AGO is grateful for eco-friendly reclamation bags donated at no cost to the state by private companies like doTERRA and Mallinckrodt. These bags are distributed to thousands of Utah Take Back locations around the state and can be filled with any pills, which will dissolve and neutralize. Measurable amounts of antibiotics, antidepressants, and medications have all been found in U.S. lakes and rivers. The eco-friendly, medication disposal system produced and donated for Utah Take Back is highly effective in absorbing and firmly binding pharmaceuticals, rendering chemical compounds safe for landfills and reducing watershed contamination.