Governor Susana Martinez encourages New Mexicans to drop off expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs for proper disposal at collection sites throughout New Mexico on Saturday, April 27th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Eighty-two locations in New Mexico are set up as collection sites and will be staffed by state and local police and county sheriff's departments. The service is free and anonymous.
"Prescription drugs left in the medicine cabinet can fall into the wrong hands and do a tremendous amount of harm," said Governor Martinez. "We have seen far too many instances of kids developing serious drug addictions that start at home -- when they begin to abuse prescription drugs and pain killers that are easily accessible and prescribed for legitimate reasons. I encourage all New Mexicans to take advantage of this opportunity and dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired prescription drugs safely."
Prescription drug abuse is a vital public safety and public health issue in New Mexico. According the Department of Health's "State of Health in New Mexico 2013" report, deaths due to prescription drugs now outnumber illicit drug deaths.
In 2011, the most common drug types causing overdose death in New Mexico were prescription opioids (e.g.,oxycodone, methadone, morphine), followed by heroin, cocaine, tranquilizers (e.g., Diazepam, Alprazolam), muscle relaxants (e.g., Carisoprodol) and antidepressants.
"Drug diversion, when people get narcotics from their families', friends' or neighbors' medicine cabinets, is more common than most people think" said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH. "This is a great opportunity to safely and properly dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs."
Efforts to reduce drug overdose death are currently focused on reducing prescription drug overdoses by requiring more medical provider training in the area of pain management. In the five previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than two million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription
To find the nearest disposal site in your area, visit the "Important Links" section on the New Mexico Department of Health homepage at http://nmhealth.org/.