"Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in Oklahoma. It's unnecessary and unsafe to leave outdated drugs in the house," said OBN spokesperson Mark Woodward. "Old, expired medications left in the home can be targeted by users. Teenagers also target their parent's current or expired prescription drugs to abuse, trade or sell in order to obtain alcohol, marijuana or other drugs."
OBN is working with the police departments and sheriff's offices in all 77 counties to establish permanent locations for the containers. This will allow residents to dispose old medicine year-round, instead of having to wait for drug take-back days to be offered.
"Take-back days have been very successful, but we don't want people stockpiling expired medication in their home for weeks or months until a take-back program is held in their community."
Proper disposal of out-of-date medicines are vital to preventing potential disasters caused by keeping unnecessary medicines in the home.
"Prescription drug abuse is the 'silent cancer' in Oklahoma with 84 percent of the drug overdose in our state tied to prescription drugs, said R. Darrell Weaver, OBN director. "Simply put, our citizens are dying and it's unacceptable."
"This statewide program is believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation and we believe it has the potential to have a significant impact on this troubling problem. If we save one citizen's life, then the effort will be worth it."