Poison Center Supports DEA Drug Take Back Program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –In an effort to minimize prescription drug abuse in New Mexico, the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center is asking citizens to participate in the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Take Back Program on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Government, community, public health and law enforcement across the nation will be working together to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous if left in the family’s medicine cabinet. Collection sites in every local community can be found at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

Poisonings are the leading cause of unintentional injury or death in New Mexico, largely due to drug misuse and abuse. Prescription drug abuse is a serious public health issue in New Mexico exceeding illicit drug use.

“Skittling” or "Pharming” is very prevalent among teenagers. This activity involves raiding the medicine cabinet at home to obtain prescription medications that are added to a pool of other drugs brought to these parties. This behavior is very dangerous as there are common prescription drugs that can be lethal to a young adult in a single dose or when combined with other drugs including alcohol.

The New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center is a public service program of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and serves as a major teaching site for the UNM College of Pharmacy and the UNM Department of Emergency Medicine. The center is available to the public and health care professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those needing “poison help” should call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322

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