Amidst mounting nationwide concern over abuse of prescription drugs, the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) has announced a new initiative to encourage the return of unused drugs to pharmacies. The new initiative seeks to reduce the quantity of prescription drugs that many consumers accumulate after they no longer need a medication.
Often times, patients are given prescriptions for more medication than necessary and thus end up with a stockpile of dangerous drugs. These drugs may be taken by others in the household or further abused by the patient after they are no longer necessary. This new regulation is aimed to minimize these prescription stockpiles and reduce availability of unnecessary prescription medications.
The new procedure will cover not only the often-abused opioid painkillers but also stimulants such as Adderall and depressants. Prior to this move, it was difficult for those with an excess of medication to dispose of it. It was not legal to return drugs to pharmacies. Consumers had to dispose of the drugs themselves or take them to law enforcement officials.
This new act will allow for the drugs to be returned at a number of locations besides pharmacies, including libraries and senior centers. The new program also attempts to control for drug theft by allowing authorized collectors to use on-site methods of destruction and mail-back programs. Participation in the program is voluntary. Participating pharmacies may register to either take back the substances or to accept mailed in medications.
The program does not require that pharmacies use the common incineration method as used by most police departments but requires that the returned drugs are permanently and irreversibly ruined within thirty days of receiving the drugs. While the new rule has some complications, it may be a significant step in reducing prescription drug abuse, an issue that has been on the rise recently.
It is important that you ensure you are receiving the right medical attention and prescriptions. Negligence in drug distribution can cause a patient serious harm. You consult a medical professional before making any changes in you medication plan. If you or loved on suffered an injury as a result of a prescription drug mistake, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney today at (877) 737-8525 or use our contact page.