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April 28, 2011
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Poison Center sponsors Drug Take Back Day April 30

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Upstate New York Poison Center at Upstate Medical University will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The poison center is working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and leading the efforts at three local Walgreen’s to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a prescription drug drop off that is part of the National Take Back Initiative. Prescription drug drop off services will be available at the Walgreens on James Street and W. Genesee Street in Syracuse as well as on Rt. 31 in Clay. In addition to the three Walgreens locations there will be additional sites in and around Onondaga County and where unused prescription drugs may be safely disposed of.

The proper disposal of unused prescription drugs can have a significant impact on the amount of poisonings that occur by way of accidental prescription drug ingestion as well as the abuse of prescription drugs.

According to statistics, since 1990 there has been a tenfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for pain management drugs, otherwise known as opiods. Between 2004 and 2007, the number of visits to the emergency department for opiod misuse has doubled, said Gail Banach, director of public education for the poison center. Banach said by 2007 the number of legal opiod prescriptions written soared to 21 million.

The Upstate Poison Center operates as part of the Upstate Medical University and has an extensive professional education and public education program to compliment its call center. Close to 50 medical, nursing, and pharmacy students rotate through the center each year. The center also sponsors Toxicology Teaching Days in Syracuse and Albany and annually conducts more than 50 annual presentations to health care professions, including EMS providers. Its staff has served as contributing authors to textbooks, scholarly journals and other publications.

For more information on National Prescription Take Back Day in Syracuse, and the Upstate New York Poison Center go to: http://www.upstate.edu/poison/

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