Working together to end prescription drug abuse

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Last week, Governor Herbert visited a neighborhood drug store to learn about ways Utahns can safely dispose of unused prescription medications.

Prescription drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk in our country. More than 15 million people abused prescription drugs in 2015, and 52 million Americans over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in their lifetime.

Unfortunately, Utah is not immune to problems with prescription drug abuse. From 2000 to 2014, Utah experienced a nearly 400 percent increase in deaths from the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Every month in Utah, 24 individuals die from prescription drug overdoses.

“This statistic is heartbreaking and absolutely unacceptable. Just one death from a drug overdose is one too many,” said Gov. Herbert. “We can and must do a better job of reducing the misuse of medications and reducing the rise in overdose deaths. We need to make the safe disposal of medication easier, and these kiosks do just that.”

Using a safe medication disposal kiosk at your neighborhood drug store is one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidently used, or intentionally misused, by someone else.

There are more than 100 permanent collection bins in locations across the state. To find the nearest safe disposal bin, Utahns can visit http://useonlyasdirected.org/, or call the Utah DEQ hotline at 1-800-458-0145.

As we work together, we can help prevent prescription drug abuse and potentially save hundreds of lives.

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