April 23, 2014

Lujan Urges New Mexico Communities to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Santa Fe, NM – Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today urging New Mexicans in communities across the state to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday.

“This Saturday, April 26th, is the 8th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. communities across New Mexico and across the nation will have an opportunity to dispose of expired, unwanted, and potentially dangerous prescription drugs and other medications.  Last year, Americans discarded over 600,000 pounds of unneeded medication on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and this Saturday we have an important opportunity to dispose of these potentially dangerous drugs that can do harm to those we love or the health of our environment when discarded improperly.

“As we continue to come together as a community and encourage our family, friends, and neighbors to live a healthy lifestyle, it is critical that we recognize the role prescription drugs have in peoples’ lives.  While prescribed medication from doctors can be essential in treating chronic conditions, disease, and pain, we must be aware that every prescription is meant for a certain time, place, and individual.  Because these medications come from a doctor, they are sometimes viewed as less dangerous than illicit drugs, but this could not be further from the truth.

“Every year we see an increasing number of lives claimed by prescription drug abuse; from accidental overdose, suicide, and the crimes that result from people becoming dependent on prescription drugs.  As we receive medication from doctors and pharmacies and fail to use it or dispose of it properly, the opportunity for misuse arises.  From giving away pills—not appreciating the danger posed when someone uses a prescription meant for someone else—to the theft of prescription drugs, the failure to properly dispose of such medication can pose a danger that can be defeated by returning them to a designated drop off point.

“I encourage everyone to take this opportunity on Saturday, April 26th, and dispose of unneeded or expired medicine at a drop off location, which can be found at the DEA’s website here, or by calling the DEA Call Center at: 1-800-882-9539.  We must all work together to ensure that substance abuse doesn’t claim the lives of the people we care about, or that prescription drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands due to their improper disposal.  I hope you will join me in decreasing the availability of unwanted and expired medication, and encourage others to do the same.”

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