Twice a year, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) sponsors National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This initiative focuses on asking the public to clean out their medicine cabinets of any unused prescription drugs and medicine with the goal of preventing prescription misuse and overdose deaths.

According to the DEA , in a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.” In a study published online in the March 2018 Journal of Pediatrics, Researchers at University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital found between 2004 and 2015,  there was a significant and steady increase in the diagnosis of opioid ingestion and poisoning across children and adolescents. This number has doubled since 2004.(1)

(1)Kane JM, Colvin JD, Bartlett AH, et al. Opioid-Related Critical Care Resource Use in US Children’s Hospitals. Pediatrics. 2018;141(4):e20173335