The Cedar Rapids Police Department will be participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a walk-up location at the Police Station, 505 1st Street SW, and participants can also use a drop-off service in the front parking lot of the Police Station.
Items accepted include prescriptions, vitamins, prescription ointments, pet medications, prescription patches, and over-the-counter medications. Items not accepted included needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, lotions or liquids, and hydrogen peroxide.
Now in its 11th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen or abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Opioid overdose deaths have increased during the pandemic based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. The CDC issued a health alert in December indicating a significant increase in overdose deaths from May 2019 through May 2020, including concerning trends during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. 81,230 people in the United States died of a drug overdose in just one year (May 2019-May 2020). This is the largest number of drug overdoses on record in the United States within a one year period and an 18 percent increase in deaths year over year. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic. Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, are the primary driver of the increases in overdose deaths.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department has a medication disposal box in the vestibule of the Police Station at 505 1st Street SW that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.