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“National Persciption Drug Take Back Day” brings awareness about opioids to local communities

Blue+deposit+boxes+like+these+are+available+for+people+to+deposit+expired+perscription.++This+is+part+of+an+effort+to+reduce+opioid+abuse.
Blue deposit boxes like these are available for people to deposit expired perscription.  This is part of an effort to reduce opioid abuse.

Blue deposit boxes like these are available for people to deposit expired perscription. This is part of an effort to reduce opioid abuse.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Blue deposit boxes like these are available for people to deposit expired perscription. This is part of an effort to reduce opioid abuse.

Blaine Davis, Staff Writer

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The U.S. has continued to plunge even further into its opioid crisis, which according to the CDC, has claimed over 64,000 lives a year. This staggering number becomes even larger when you consider that the Vietnam War casualties were only 53,000, roughly 11,000 less than opioids.  However, local pharmacies in Delaware and all around the U.S. have teamed together to help fight this crisis with National Perscription Drug Take Back Day.  The purpose of the day is to allow households to take back expired opioids perscibed to them or to return empty pill bottles.

In the 1990’s, opioids were one of the most perscribed medicines, with pain relievers like Fentanyl and Codeine becoming produced and prescribed en masse. Pharmaceutical companies assured people that patients will not get hooked on opioids, so there is no need to worry. However, addictions became widespread, and almost 30% of the United States were misusing opioids, that’s about 98 million people.  Pharmaceutical companies tried to stop this, but the damage was done.  Today, almost 120 people die everyday due to overdose, and the number is increasing.  “That’s crazy that so many people die from misusing their medicine,” Freshman Dylan Rezac said.

Now, pharmacies all over the state are working to allow people, from children to seniors, to safely dispose expiring or empty pill bottles to prevent misuse.  The pharmacies have designated “drop-off locations”, mainly state buildings like the Lewes and Rehoboth police department and the City of Lewes Board of Public Works.  Between  ten a.m. to two p.m., citizens can get rid of their unused, empty, or expired pills and pillbottles to allow them to be disposed properly and to avoid environmental damage.

In Cape, some kids even admit to having expired drugs that aren’t being used.  “I’ve had some bottles that I’ve forgotten about, didn’t realize they were that much of an issue” junior April Rulo said.  As the event goes on, more and more people are encouraged to come in.  The publicity became so great that it even made front page of google, in hopes of making the event more known to the public.

Though Cape itself is not a location for the drug drop off, locations like the police departments in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, as well as pharmacies such as Walgreens, were locations to take the perscriptions too. The biggest part of the event was the idea that anyone can turn in perscriptions, from children to high schoolers, to adults and seniors can all contribute to the event. Even though the event has passed, everyone should consider taking their perscriptions to drop off locations, and help fight the opioid crisis together.

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“National Persciption Drug Take Back Day” brings awareness about opioids to local communities