National Prescription Drug Take Back Day – April 22nd

Prescription Drug Take Back

April 22 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. National Take Back Day is an event that happens twice a year where anyone can bring any old or unused prescription medications to local collection spots to be destroyed. It was created and promoted by the Drug Enforcement Agency to reduce the availability of potentially harmful, unused prescription drugs.

Locate Expired Medications

Most homes have some sort of prescription medication being stored in it. Some of those medications are for physical ailments like high blood pressure, gout, eczema, allergies, or cholesterol. Other medications being stored in the home might be for mental health issues like anxiety, depression, bi polar, or mood disorders. Still other types of prescriptions people keep in their homes are medicines they may not need or use anymore. These might include prescriptions of antibiotics or steroids that weren’t completed for some reason. These also might include unused narcotics that were prescribed after a procedure or surgery. Whatever the reason or type, any of these unused prescriptions can cause harm if taken by a person or disposed of improperly.

Difference Between Misuse & Abuse

Not all drug use is “abuse” or “addiction”. Most people take their medicines as prescribed and do not take medications that aren’t prescribed to them. Drug Misuse happens when someone doesn’t take a medicine or drug the way it is prescribed or intended. This includes taking someone else’s prescribed medication or taking more than is prescribed. Taking 8 ibuprofens when the bottle says to take no more than 2 is Drug Misuse. Say you have a really bad migraine. One of your family members may get migraines as well and has been prescribed migraine medicine. They may give you one of their pills and it relieves the pain. Great! That would still be considered Drug Misuse because the medicine was not prescribed to you. Drug Misuse is not always harmful every time, but it can lead to Abuse and Addiction.

Drug Abuse is when someone takes a drug or medication to achieve an effect different for what it is intended. Examples of Drug Abuse include drinking nighttime cold medicine for a “buzz”, taking a narcotic pain reliever to feel “high”, or taking more than has been prescribed to get the same effects as before. Drug Abuse can be dangerous as many accidental overdoses can happen when drugs are taken this way. Recent research has shown that unused prescription drugs found in the home can be a gateway for teens to misuse and abuse more illicit drugs.

Doing Our Part

National Take Back Day is an important public service event that can help educate people about the dangers of storing unused or expired prescriptions in the home. With hundreds of people dying every day from drug overdoses it is important to curb the tide of addiction by preventing Drug Misuse and Abuse in the first place. Before it progresses to addiction.

If there are expired or unused prescriptions being stored in your home, please consider taking them to your local collection site on April 22 to have them disposed of properly. Do not flush them down a toilet or throw them in the trash, as those chemicals can find their way into the local water supply. Please visit to find the collection site nearest you and help prevent drug misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose.


If you or someone you know are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, please reach out to us (281) 888-0447 today.  Addiction is treatable and recovery is possible.  Never give up hope, many people go on to live happy, joyous and free lives from addiction.  Contact Us for Help today!

Joseph (JJ) Barker

LMSW, LCDC, Outpatient Counselor

JJ is a Primary Substance Abuse Counselor that operates out of the East Houston / Clear Lake Outpatient Office. He helps facilitate group sessions along with individual and family counseling. JJ received his Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently continuing his education conducting Clinical Social Work under the clinical supervision of Meaghen Lightbody-Warner, LCSW. He has 10 years in recovery along with 7 years’ experience in the substance abuse field. He enjoys working in this industry because he gets to witness radical, positive change in many people’s lives. JJ likes to spend most of his free time with his wife and daughters or reading.

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