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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Launches Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Public Service Announcement

PSA Launched in Advance of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30

DALLAS — John Parker, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, announced the release today of a public service announcement (PSA) that addresses the dangers of prescription drug abuse and recommends ways parents can keep their children safe.

The announcement is made in advance of this year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 30, 2016.  Take-Back Day provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of unused prescription drugs, while educating the public about the dangers of misusing medications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 46 people die each day from an overdose of prescription painkillers in the United States.  The rate of prescription painkiller overdoses has more than quadrupled since 1999 and is now the leading cause of injury death, causing more deaths than motor vehicle traffic accidents annually.

Teens and young adults, who mistakenly believe prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs, are abusing pills at an alarming rate.  One in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, a 33 percent increase since 2008.

The increase in the use of prescription drugs has also led to an explosion of heroin abuse.  The recent national heroin abuse rate is 19 times higher among those who reported prior use of prescription pain relievers than among those who did not report such use.  And four out of every five people who try heroin for the first time admit to having abused prescription pain relievers first. 

Prescription drug abuse prevention has long been a priority of the Administration.  For more information regarding the Administration’s efforts see this White House Fact Sheet.

The PSA released today provides tips on how parents can dispose of prescription drugs safely, since the home medicine cabinet is the number-one source of prescription pills for teens and young adults.  On Take-Back Day, collection sites will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Click here to locate a collection site near you.

The PSA may be found here.  Media requesting a high resolution version may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs at txnusa@usa.doj.gov or 214-659-8600.


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Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated April 13, 2016