National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Takes Place Oct. 27, 10A – 2P

Don't Be a DealerSemi-Annual event provides safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs

The Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting the semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 27. The goal of the event is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.  For a list of local drug collection sites, click here.

The Council on Recovery urges you to check your medicine cabinets, drawers, purses, and glove boxes for unused and/or expired Rx prescriptions. Dispose of them safely and immediately. Drug Take Back day is an ideal time to assure that dangerous, addictive, and potentially deadly prescriptions do not fall into the wrong hands.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a problem with Rx drugs, alcohol, or other addictive behaviors, contact The Council. We can help!

Proper Disposal of Pain Medication is a Key Factor in the Opioid Fight

The Addiction Policy Forum recently partnered with a number of local organizations in Ohio, a state hit hard by the opioid epidemic, to distribute free Rx disposal kits. The kits include an Rx disposal pouch and educational materials about the risks of holding onto unused medications. The Addiction Policy Forum hopes that this will become a biannual ritual in the U.S. when Daylight Saving occurs.  

Opioid Clock for the Disposal of Opioids
Opioid clock representing the disposal of old prescription medication during Daylight Saving. Photo Credit: Addiction Policy Forum.

Want to help address addiction in America? Start with your medicine cabinet.

Heroin is involved in many of the opioid-related deaths, but addiction doesn’t always begin with the use of illicit drugs. Studies have shown that two in three people who currently use heroin started out by using prescription pain medications for nonmedical purposes. According to the Federal Government, more than 2,000 teenagers will misuse a prescription drug for the first time today, tomorrow, and the day after that. Many of these first-time encounters with opioids happen in homes with leftover medications that were initially prescribed by a physician.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that two-thirds of surgical patients end up with unused pain medications, such as oxycodone and morphine, after recovering from a procedure. Because most of us aren’t educated about the risks of keeping unused medication in our homes, these prescribed drugs are often neither secured nor disposed of properly but stashed in medicine cabinets and bedside table drawers because it seems wasteful to throw them away and we keep them around “just in case.” Getting rid of a bottle of pills may seem like a shuffle step on the long path toward addressing the opioid crisis, but decreasing access to these medications is as crucial as it is easy.

Can I safely dispose of medication without a pouch?

Yes! Follow these instructions to safely dispose of unused medications at home using common household items, or visit the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) website to find an authorized drop-off location close to you.

Proper disposal can be tricky, due to the fact that Rx disposal laws differ by state, some medications require specific disposal procedures, and others can pose a significant threat to kids, pets, and even adults and require urgent disposal.

To learn which medications fall into the above categories, or to get more information about safe at-home disposal, visit the FDA website or call the DEA’s toll-free hotline: (855) 543-3784.

How to for the Disposal of Opioids
Four ways to dispose of old and unused prescription drugs. Photo Credit: Addiction Policy Forum.

What is prescription opioid misuse?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines prescription opioid misuse as taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed, taking someone else’s prescription (even for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain), or taking a medication to feel euphoria (i.e., to get high).

This excerpt was originally published at www.addictionpolicy.org.

To order an Rx Disposal Kit and to join the Addiction Policy Forum’s campaign to properly dispose of old and unused medication, please visit www.addictionpolicy.org. To learn more about counseling and treatment programs for those fighting addiction, visit www.councilonrecovery.org or call 713.914.0556.

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic Using New Technology

Facing a rapidly worsening opioid epidemic, federal health organizations are turning to new technology to fight the growing problem. Leading the way, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a mobile application called the CDC Opioid Guideline Mobile App. 

CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline Mobile App
An app created by the CDC in order for health professionals to monitor their patients’ pain and opioid medications. Photo credit: CDC.

The app features a Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) calculator that helps give prescription recommendations, and lets health providers practice effective communication skills. It is free and available to download on any smartphone. The CDC is optimistic that the app will help manage the legal distribution of opioid drugs more efficiently.

Cities across the U.S. have also found ways to tackle the opioid epidemic using new technology in their local communities. The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) helps first responders and public health officials locate areas where overdoses are happening. It also helps predict potential opioid drug trafficking areas.

Continue reading “Fighting the Opioid Epidemic Using New Technology”

The Red Flag Warnings of Cocaine Use and Withdrawal

Although the opioid  epidemic has recently taken the spotlight and overshadowed the devastating impact of other substances, the use of cocaine has remained steady since 2009. Cocaine is a potent stimulant drug. It comes in a powder form and also a solid rock form typically known as ‘crack’. If you feel someone you know and love may have a problem with cocaine, there are many clear warning signals to look for.

Continue reading “The Red Flag Warnings of Cocaine Use and Withdrawal”

Alcoholism…Are Genes to Blame?

Are issues with alcohol a future risk for you? Have you ever questioned yourself and thought, “Am I an alcoholic?”

Many Americans drink alcohol, but can have one drink and put it down for the rest of the evening. Not everyone who drinks develops a dependence on alcohol. However, many individuals are concerned about their chances of struggling with alcohol dependence due to their genetic predisposition. The question is, “How much do genes truly affect the likelihood of becoming an alcoholic?”

Continue reading “Alcoholism…Are Genes to Blame?”

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 1

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 1 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a PhD. in mythological studies.


For those of us who suffer from the incurable disease of alcoholism, in all its forms, whether the compulsive consumption of various mind-numbing substances or the penchant for aberrant, dangerous behaviors, the quest for sobriety – physical, emotional, and psychological sobriety – is a life-long exercise.  Our genetic make-up or our early life traumas doom us to a lifetime of dealing with this disease.

But the quest for sobriety, a deep seated commitment to pursue the multitudinous avenues to change our behavior, can make for a life of true joy and contentment, despite the remnants of the disease that never go away.  In point of fact, our life in sobriety can turn out to be measurably better than that for those who have never experienced this disease.

This is what is to be explored in these notes….for it is clear to the thousands of us who are successfully traversing this path that the life of an ongoing quest for sobriety has no rival in the experience of man.

The pursuit of sobriety is truly a spiritual quest…not unlike the quest for the Holy Grail by Percival and Gawain and the Knights of the Round Table.  The commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve and maintain a sober state, the acceptance of our powerlessness to deal with all that happens around us, the embrace of the processes to connect with a higher power in and around us, and the will to deal with people, places and things in a commitment to service, sets us out on a quest to connect with the world in a truly glorious manner.

The Journey is one of choices and discovery…and it mirrors the idea of a Hero’s Journey in very close parallel.  From the calling to cross the threshold, a meeting room threshold or a line in the sand signifying the initial commitment, to the journey through an underworld of discoveries and realizations, to the gradual awakening of what the pursuit of sobriety can bring, this Journey is real, personal for each and every one of us, and mythic in its ramifications for us and those around us.

So this note, the first of many, begins a mythic quest of understanding for all of us…what are the elements of a truly deep seated quest for sobriety that will allow for a lifetime of joy and contentment we may never have experienced before, one whose energies and characteristics might resemble the majestic quests of mythology.