116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids police will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 24.
Now in its 11th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to remove opioids and other expired or unused medications from homes where they could be stolen or abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the numbers of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, a news release said. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
A walk-up location will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 at the police station, 505 First St. SW. Participants can also use a drop-off service in the front parking lot of the police station.
Items accepted include prescriptions, vitamins, prescription ointments, pet medications, prescription patches and over-the-counter medications. Items not accepted include needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, lotions or liquids, and hydrogen peroxide.
For those who can’t make the April 24 event, the Cedar Rapids Police Department has a medication disposal box in the vestibule of the police station at 505 First St. SW that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Opioid overdose deaths have increased during the pandemic based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the police department said in a news release.
The CDC issued a health alert in December indicating a significant increase in overdose deaths from May 2019 through May 2020, including concerning trends during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC reported that 81,230 people in the United States died of drug overdoses in just one year, from May 2019 to May 2020.
That is the largest number of drug overdoses on record in the United States within a one-year period and an 18 percent increase in deaths year over year.
The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin before the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, are the primary driver of the increase in overdose deaths.
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