DEA: Clean out medicine cabinets Saturday
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tim Strain was a victim of prescription drugs, not an abuser. His girlfriend’s mother gave the 18-year-old additional pain medication for a serious burn, producing a fatal drug interaction.
Now his parents, Bernie and Beverly Strain, want the memory of their son to make a difference for others. The suburban Philadelphia couple are joining with the Drug Enforcement Administration to encourage people to take a few minutes on Saturday to clean out their medicine cabinets.
The national prescription drug “Take-Back” campaign will offer more than 4,000 sites around the nation where the public can drop off expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
“We have an epidemic,” says acting DEA administrator Michele Leonhart, whose agency is working with thousands of state and local agencies and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America on Saturday’s campaign.
A similiar event is planned in Covington County in October.
“Our research shows that the No. 1 source of medicines that kids abuse is their own home medicine cabinet or a family member or friend’s home,” says Steve Pasierb, the partnership’s president.
Unintentional overdose deaths involving prescription narcotics increased 175 percent in a six-year span to 11,001 in 2006, according to data collected by the federal government.