Reflecting upon the many Americans who die from drug overdoses, President Barack Obama used his weekly address Thursday to encourage people to help reduce the number of prescription pain medication abusers by cleaning out their medicine cabinets for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
In a plan released four years ago, the administration outlined a strategy to prevent prescription drug abuse. President Obama said his administration has begun to see successful results through education, drug monitoring programs, proper disposal, and medical enforcement. He asked that people continue to follow these guidelines when dealing with prescription drugs.
The president said that more Americans die each year from drug overdoses than from car crashes. In 2013 alone, he said more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription drug overdoses.
“Most young people who begin misusing prescription drugs don’t buy them in some dark alley,” said President Obama. “They get them from the medicine cabinet.”
He also said that four in five heroin users start using by abusing prescription drugs, and that the number of heroin users increased by 33 percent between 2013 and 2014.
“All of this takes a terrible toll on too many families and too many communities all across the country,” he said. “It strains law enforcement and treatment programs. It costs all of us in so many different ways.”
The president asked people to participate Thursday by properly disposing of prescription drugs at community collection sites.
“It is a challenge we can solve if we work together,” he said.
Click here for a list of community collection sites in your neighborhood.