Brown Talks Drug Take Back at Columbus Public Health

COLUMBUS, OH —Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Teresa Long, Columbus Fire Department Assistant Chief Jim Davis, and Franklin County Chief Deputy Rick Minerd at Columbus Public Health to highlight “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.” National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a day when Ohioans can safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs, will take place Saturday, Oct. 28th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. A full list of drug take back sites in Ohio can be found here.

“Addiction isn’t an individual problem or a character flaw, it’s a disease – a disease that all too often starts in the family medicine cabinet,” said Brown. “Unused prescription medicines – especially addictive opioid painkillers – must be disposed of in a safe, responsible way to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in an effort to provide safe, convenient and responsible means for disposal of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for addiction.

“The misuse of prescription painkillers is how many heroin users begin their journey toward this deadly drug, and many people get them for free from a friend or family member. It’s important to get unused and unwanted medicine out of our home medicine cabinets to protect the health and safety of our loved ones and the community,” said Dr. Long.

“Although physician prescribed pain medication has a legitimate place in managing pain, it's up to all of us to be responsible with its use and destruction to reduce the risks of unintended consequences,” said Assistant Chief Davis.

Brown has introduced the Opioid Quota Openness, Transparency, and Awareness Act (Opioid QuOTA Act) to shed light on annual quotas for prescription painkiller production and put a limit on the number of these potentially deadly painkillers that are produced every year.

In August, Brown applauded a proposal issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reduce the production of prescription opioids by 20 percent next year. The DEA is responsible for establishing annual quotas determining the exact amount of each opioid drug that is permitted to be produced in the U.S. each year. Brown asked the agency to take this step.

Last month, the House Homeland Security Committee passed Brown’s bipartisan legislation, the INTERDICT ACT, to help keep the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl out of Ohio communities and provide border agents and other law enforcement with better equipment to protect themselves from deadly opioids in the field.

Several state and national law enforcement organizations, including the Ohio FOP and the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association, have endorsed Brown’s bill. Brown’s bill is also supported by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Brown is supporting Portman’s STOP Act, which is also endorsed by law enforcement. The two bills work together to help block the deadly synthetic opioid from reaching Ohio communities.

Brown has also applauded the formation of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis and several of its recommendations, which echo his work to combat the opioid epidemic in the Senate.