Guam – Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken with out a prescription and it is one of the more easily obtainable drugs available.
10.7 percent of our island’s high school students have reported taking prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, percocet, vicodin, aderall, ritalin or xanax, without a doctor’s prescription. This is according to the 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment.
In 2016, 43 minors were remanded to the custody of the Department of Youth Affairs for substance related offenses.
According to the DEA, the majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends and the home medicine cabinet.
In fact, unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue as it can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.
The DEA shares that non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.
They further state that unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash, can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold and improper disposal of medication can contaminate the environment.
So what can you do to properly dispose of unused drugs?
Well, you can participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The program is run by the DEA and allows for the disposal of unwanted drugs to avoid misuse.
On April 28, 2018, a drop off box will be available at three locations, the Agana Shopping Center, Naval Base Guam and Anderson Air force Base Exchanges, from 10 am to 2pm.
For the guidelines regarding the types of medication acceptable visit www.dea.gov for more information.
If you can not make it to the drop off points the DEA says other options available for disposing meds is to take them out of their bottles, mix them with something unappealing such as used kitty litter or coffee grounds and seal them in a bag before throwing them away.