Journal of Drug Abuse Open Access

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Proper Drug Disposal: Studying a Solution to Household Prescription and Over-the- Counter Drug Abuse

Gustavo Kinrys, Alexandra K Gold, and Andrew A Nierenberg

With 6.5 million Americans misusing a prescription drug in 2014 and 12% of American teenagers indicating lifetime use of over-the-counter cold medicine or cough syrup for getting high, misuse and abuse of prescription and over-thecounter drugs remains a major problem in the United States. Prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse often results from unused or unwanted medications remaining in the household cabinet. A potential solution to this problem lies in drug take-back programs which allow individuals to bring unused medications back to designated facilities for safe and proper disposal. In this commentary, we discuss the current state of drug take-back programs and their relevance to prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. We conclude with suggestions on future directions in drug disposal that can help fight against prescription and overthe- counter drug abuse.