Bill to increase engagement in drug take-back program

Bill to increase engagement in drug take-back program

It was while riffling through his parents’ medicine cabinet that Jacob first came across opioid painkillers. The first time he took the pills, it was a silly bet but the high he experienced from the drug was a reason good enough for him to go back again and again to the cabinet. Fast forward two years, Jacob, today, is suffering from opioid use disorder.

It is understandable for Jacob’s parents to store the unused prescription painkillers in their medicine cabinet because they could not think of any other suitable place to dispose of the same. There are thousands of such families in the United States who are clueless about what to do with the excess or unused prescription drugs lying around in their homes. To combat this problem and curb the rising opioid epidemic, a Bipartisan bill has been introduced by the U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to support the drug-take back programs.

What is this bill about?

The Access to Increased Drug Disposal (AIDD) Act of 2018 is intended to combat prescription drug abuse by increasing engagement in the prescription drug take-back programs initiated by the federal government in 2010.

Through the Responsible Drug Disposal Act 2010, the federal government promulgated that the unused prescription drugs could be collected from the public and later disposed of by the pharmacies and licensed bodies authorised by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This was the crux of the federal drug take-back program. Though this program was effective, it lost steam quickly because the financial burden on the pharmacies and lack of clarity on regulation forced the pharmacies to withdraw their participation.

“Last year, over 200 opioid-related deaths were reported in Iowa alone, a tragic 12 percent increase from 2016,” said Senator Ernst.  He further added that the AIDD Act is a significant step toward encouraging participation in the drug take-back programs, which if implemented properly can help save countless American lives.

The purpose of the AIDD Act is to support the funding of eligible pharmacies to increase their participation as authorized collectors. It would allow five states to seek funds from the Department of Justice through a demonstration program whose cost would come under the purview of the Act itself. These states will also be made accountable under the Act for the grants allocated to them. They will be required to submit detailed reports about the recipients of the grants, the activities undertaken using those grants, and the effectiveness of the program.

Treatment is just seconds away

If this bill sees the light of day, a lot will be accomplished in terms of preventing people from getting addicted to prescription drugs or opioids. However, apart from adopting preventive measures, equal importance needs to be given to treatment and recovery as well. Addiction can be treated through timely diagnosis and medical intervention. People like Jacob who have been diagnosed with an addiction can still be salvaged from the clutches of addiction with proper medication and therapy.

Similarly, if you or someone you know is suffering from prescription drug abuse or any other substance, contact now at the California Prescription Abuse Helpline. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 738-2770 or chat online with our experts to know about the best prescription drug rehab centers in California.

Reference article:

Ernst, Grassley, Blumenthal Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse