Earlier this week, the White House released its Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan entitled "Epidemic: Responding to America's Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis". The plan establishes a framework for reducing prescription drug abuse by:
-- educating prescribers, patients, and parents;
-- supporting prescription drug monitoring programs;
-- implementing safe and environmentally responsible disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs;
-- involving law enforcement in the reduction of "pill mills" and "doctor shopping" by those seeking to abuse drugs.
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug abuse problem in the country. Below are two charts that were released along with the prevention plan. Both illustrate the dramatic increase in deaths involving prescription drugs and, in particular, opioid analgesics.
What can be done right now?
-- Encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to safely dispose of unwanted medications during the DEA's Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30. All Seattle Police Department precincts are participating in this one-day event.
-- Learn about the Take Back Your Meds campaign here in Washington State.