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LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – The New Year offers an opportunity for Las Vegas area residents to clear their medicine cabinets of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Roseman University College of Pharmacy has joined the PACT Coalition, CARE Coalition, local law enforcement and other Southern Nevada partners to offer a community-wide drug take-back day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 20.

Unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs may be dropped off anonymously and with no-questions-asked for safe disposal during the one day event at select locations valley wide. Here are the following locations:

*Sun City Summerlin–10360 Sun City Blvd., Desert Vista Social Hall parking lot

*The Center–401 S. Maryland Pkwy., Las Vegas, NV

*Albertsons–4800 Blue Diamond road, Las Vegas

*Albertsons–201 South Stephanie Street, Henderson NV

*Smith’s–2211 North Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas, NV

*Smith’s–10100 West Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas, NV

*Henderson City Hall–240 South Water Street, Henderson, NV

*Community Partners for Better Health–700 Lola Avenue, North Las Vegas, NV

Individuals dropping off unused and expired drugs are asked to black out names and addresses on the drug bottles before taking them to the event. A LIST OF THESE LOCATIONS CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT http://www.roseman.edu/drop.

“We encourage all residents to look through their medicine cabinets and join us to safely dispose of any old or unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications,” said Jamie Ross, Executive Director of the PACT Coalition. “We want to keep these medications from being misused, especially by our young people,” Ross said.

The misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs are, after marijuana and alcohol the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.

A study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported the classes of prescription drugs most commonly abused are: opioid pain relievers, such as Vicodin or Oxycontin, stimulants for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall, Concerta, or Ritalin and central nervous system (CNS) depressants for relieving anxiety, such as Valium or Xanax. The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold remedies containing dextromethorphan.

“People often think that prescription and OTC drugs are safer than illicit drugs,” said Krystal Riccio, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at Roseman University’s College of Pharmacy. “However, they can be just as addictive and dangerous as illicit drugs and put users at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose. The risk is more profound when taken along with other drugs or alcohol,” Riccio said.

Riccio adds, there are varying strengths, side effects and interactions to consider when taking medications that aren’t prescribed to you by a doctor or are simply misused. Tragically, the result can be great bodily harm or even death.

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), in addition to regularly cleaning out home medicine cabinets and safely disposing of unwanted drugs and medications, it’s also critical that the public secure their current medications at home, so teens can’t access them, as well as keep track of quantities. It’s also important, especially for parents, to make certain that friends and relatives do the same.

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