USN-DAAT to collect unused, expired prescription and OTC drugs from public

Following the overwhelming success of Southern Nevada's first Operation Medicine Cabinet event in February, University of Southern Nevada's Drug Abuse Awareness team (USN-DAAT) and a coalition of local organizations have come together for a second event to collect unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs from the public.

“There are varying strengths, side-effects and interactions to consider when taking medications that aren't prescribed to you by a doctor or are simply misused. Unfortunately, the result can be great bodily harm or even death.”

Unused and expired drugs may be dropped off anonymously and with no-questions-asked for safe and proper disposal during the one-day, drive-through event from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 in the parking lot of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Northwest Area Command, located at 9850 West Cheyenne in Las Vegas.

The first 25 families with children and/or teens will receive a free Rx DrugSAFE™ fingerprint home medicine safe, which provides a secure, convenient solution to safeguard prescription medications. All other participants will receive a coupon for $100 off the purchase of a safe.

"The first Operation Medicine Cabinet was tremendous, with more than 120,000 doses of medication collected in just a few hours," said Dr. Paul Oesterman, associate professor of pharmacy practice and faculty advisor for USN-DAAT. "Since people vulnerable to misuse and abuse, such as children and teens, access prescription and OTC drugs in medicine cabinets at home or while visiting friends and family, securing current drugs and removing and disposing of expired drugs are the easiest ways to help prevent the tragic consequences of drug misuse and abuse."

According to the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, one in five U.S. high school students say they have taken a prescription drug such as OxyContin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Adderall®, Ritalin®, or Xanax®, without a physician's prescription. Twelfth-graders had the highest likelihood of prescription drug abuse, at 26 percent.

Oesterman says misusing and abusing these drugs can be extremely dangerous. "Most people, particularly youth, are either unaware of or not concerned with the potential chemical dangers of these drugs," said Oesterman. "There are varying strengths, side-effects and interactions to consider when taking medications that aren't prescribed to you by a doctor or are simply misused. Unfortunately, the result can be great bodily harm or even death."

SOURCE Operation Medicine Cabinet

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