The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.  Opioids (including prescription opioids  and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

Teens now abuse prescription drugs more than any illicit drug except marijuana.  Prescription drugs are abused more than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines combined.  Surveys show that teens find them easy to obtain from family or friends.  Violent crime and property crime associated with abuse and diversion of prescription medications (specifically controlled substances) has increased throughout the United States.

Medication disposal days are extremely important to prevent the diversion of unneeded medications and to dispose of them in a safe, legal and environmentally friendly manner. Most teenagers who misuse prescription drugs obtain them from a friend or family member. It is very important to safely store medications, keeping them locked up and out of the reach of children. Safe disposal keeps toxic medications out of the groundwater and protects wildlife from harm. Medication disposal days are key to promoting public health and safety on campus and throughout the community.