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May 24, 2010

Bullock Announces ‘Operation Medicine Cabinet Montana’

Prescription Drug drop-off events planned in 30 communities, Attorney General says

HELENA – Leftover and unwanted medications sitting in your home can put families and communities at risk for diversion, prescription drug abuse, and unintentional poisoning. On Saturday, June 5th ‘Operation Medicine Cabinet Montana’ will provide communities across the state the opportunity to safely dispose of unused medications.

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock launched the statewide drop-off effort as part of his wider plan to reduce prescription drug abuse in Montana. Thirty communities across the state will be hosting prescription drug drop-offs.

“With prescription drug abuse on the rise in our state, it is important to closely monitor medications in our homes and get rid of those drugs we no longer have a use for,” said Attorney General Steve Bullock. “By limiting easy access to drugs that are potentially dangerous when misused, we reduce the risk of accidental poisonings, illegal diversion and abuse in our community.”

On June 5th, Montanans may bring expired or unwanted medications to be disposed of to the drop-off locations listed below. Participants are encouraged to remove or blackout any personal information on the containers. Drop-offs are confidential and free of charge. The following items cannot be accepted: sharps/needles, chemo/radioactive drugs, or other non-pharmaceutical waste.

Montana ranks third in the nation for teen abuse of prescription pain relievers – nearly 10 percent of teens admit to abusing these drugs in the past year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Partnership for a Drug Free America reports that the majority of teens agree that prescription drugs are easier to get than other illicit drugs, including 63 percent who believe that prescription drugs are easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinet. Additionally, 70 percent of those who use prescription medications for non-medical purposes get those drugs from a friend or family member.

To find a drop-off location in your community, see the map or table. For more information, see the Prescription Drug Abuse website.