September 26, 2012

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

During the past several years, a frightening trend has been taking place in New Mexico and throughout the nation. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and it's leading to addiction and death.

More people die now from prescription drugs like oxycodone, morphine and methadone than from illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. With this shift, the drug epidemic has moved from the streets to our medicine cabinets.

Reversing this trend will require an all hands on deck approach. That's why I'm encouraging people all across New Mexico to participate in Saturday's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. There will be free, anonymous drop-off sites for you to discard your unused or expired medications.

Residents can search online by county, city or zip code for the collection site nearest them by clicking here.

New Mexico has the sad distinction of having the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. I am very troubled by this, and I know you are too.

I recently spoke out about the problem at a Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control hearing on prescription drug abuse. Click here to watch the video.

We all need to do our part. At the federal level. In our schools and public health centers. And with local events like Take-Back Day.

I also encourage parents and community leaders to check out the Police and CommunitiesTogether 360 - a website with great tools and education materials to help combat this problem. The website, funded through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, is available in both English and Spanish.

Safe disposal of these drugs is one of the most effective ways to prevent abuse. But it requires your participation. And so I encourage you to get involved. Mark Saturday on your calendar. Make a difference. And make your home safer for you and your family.