CVS pharmacist talks about importance of drug back day to combat opioid crisis


happening today Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other federal officials will host the first national opioid summit it comes a day after President Trump signed a new opioids law it includes promoting research for new drugs that are less addictive and several other measures and this weekend the Drug Enforcement Agency is encouraging everyone to safely dispose other unwanted prescription drugs the idea of national drug take back day is so those pills don’t get into the wrong hands take back days are certainly important as the nation continues to find ways to fight the opioid crisis and joining us today CVS pharmacist a meal and Safa T thanks for coming in and thank you for having me this is an ongoing thing the drug take-back and this national day is just to help push more attention to it right yes it’s actually initiative that’s sponsored by the DEA and it happens twice a year and it’s really to kind of bring to light the issues of drug abuse and potential overdoses and especially poisonings when it comes to children that can happen if drugs are left and put in the wrong hands so people who have like a medicine cabinet full of you know say amoxicillin they didn’t finish what do you do with that so there’s a lot of different options and there are a lot of CVS locations have a drug disposal unit which you can take any type of you know expired drug or you know old medicine maybe from a surgery or when you were sick and dispose of it safely and securely that way it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands because children it’s so easy you maybe think that they can’t get into it but all it takes is a second if you’re not watching and they swallowed too much and then you could have a really dangerous situation on your hands right so for people who say they’re saving things for when they get sick again that’s a bad idea yes like oh I’m gonna save these animals just get rid of it okay so what so what are the medications where you say these are really the ones what we really need to be focused on if you have them in your in your counter yes while all medications could be dangerous but especially Controlled Substances especially with regards to narcotics things for pain because of those you know we’re taken by either a child or someone who has a tendency for addiction they could either an unintentionally overdose or you know and a hospital and we’re seeing this a lot with teenagers even you know people in your own home or even maybe people who’ve come into the home to work on something they might go into your medicine cabinets it gets into the wrong hands in lots of different ways right especially with teens that’s why we actually do a program where we go CVS pharmacist volunteer and we go and talk in high schools middle school in high school is grade seven through twelve and kind of talk about the dangers of opioid drug abuse and prescription drug abuse the way to kind of bring to light and educate students you know from an early age not to go down that route why is it not always a good idea to try to dispose of it yourself you know throw it away yourself or flush it down the toilet you know a lot of people think that that’s the way to go right right so if we’re throwing things away it could always you know drugs can always be taken out of the trash and for flushing stuff down the toilet you know you’re kind of getting into the water supply and things like that so that’s not ideal ideally the safest way is to get rid of it and a drug disposal kiosk and there’s also any fire department in our Police Department they always have a take-back bin or you know something on those lines to safely dispose of the medications that you can go to anytime yeah anytime there’s always I know that CVS has donated over 900 bins to local law enforcement across the country so there’s you know definitely bins and especially on Saturday for drug take-back day if you go online you can see all the different places where you can bring back drugs and almost every local police department is on there do you know when you take these drugs back is there kind of a relief that you sometimes see from patients that are just glad that they’re just out of they’re out of the house yes yes a lot of people they come in with like a huge garbage bag and sometimes it’s you know reasons to avoid abuse and other times it’s a family member may have passed away and now they have all these medications they don’t know what to do with them so it’s really nice to be able to you know take that pressure off of them they don’t have to worry about it getting into the wrong hands or something bad happening what are some of the safest tips for let’s say storage of prescription medications so it’s not expired just yet you’re you know you might you’re one of those maybe get sick a lot what are the best ways to kind of store medication yeah yeah so a lot of people think keeping their medicine in the medicine cabinet is a good idea but usually medicine cabinets are in the bathroom that’s where really steamy you know really moisture there so that can actually damage the medications so it’s really best to be kept in like a high shelf in the kitchen away from where children can kind of you know reach it and make sure that the safety caps are always in the lock position because you don’t want to you know leave things open or have an easy-open cap especially if there’s children in the house so really just high and up and out of the way is the best place sometimes pets like a dog who lives in my house it gets into lower cabinets so you know you think about pets to hang around eating human medication right exactly I actually get phone calls about that sometimes as well because we have the poison you know hotline for children but we have to think about our animals as well because people have come in to me with a bottle let’s shoot open and they’re like I don’t know what what to do so it’s you know you got to think about that as well because pets or children also yeah my dog took all my mom’s Fosamax once when she was visiting her suitcase oh my goodness fine loving kickin yes and we’ve got some locations there on the screen so again you said you can go online and figure out where the best option for you as and where do you go online should we go to CBS or go to the drug take-back website CBS com that’s where you can see where our specific drug disposal units are we have about nine in Central Florida and but if you go to the DEA drug take-back website that’s where they list everything you know in the whole country based on your zip code where you can go as well okay so again on Saturday get out get rid of that stuff or any time your pharmacies in police departments or fire departments thank you so much Jamie