HOWARD COUNTY, md. — On Saturday, Howard County residents participated in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
“In order to reduce substance misuse, it is important to take prescription medications that are not needed, out of circulation, and out of reach of children or others who could misuse them,” said Lieutenant Governor Rutherford. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reminds us to be vigilant, and emphasizes the importance of making disposal safe and convenient."
Lieutenant Governor Rutherford was joined by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Howard County Police Department in collecting unused, expired, and unwanted prescription drugs during the drive-up take-back event.
These collections have been ongoing since 2013.
In 2019, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives. Most participants say they got the prescription drugs from family and friends.
“We don’t think of our own medicine cabinets as dangerous,” said Opioid Operational Command Center Executive Director Steve Schuh. “However, by taking the simple step of disposing unneeded medications and encouraging our friends, neighbors, and family members to do the same, we can help prevent medications from being misused. That is how lives are saved.”
Last year's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day resulted in the collection of 9,180 pounds of prescription medications in Maryland.
Marylanders struggling with a substance use disorder can find help here. They can also contact Maryland 211 by dialing 2-1-1 and pressing 1 to reach the state’s crisis hotline or texting their ZIP code to 898-211.