DEA Sponsors National Prescription Take Back Day

The Drug Enforcement Administration is encouraging New Yorkers to clear out their medicine cabinets and turn in unused pain pills and other prescription medications, with no questions asked.

The last such event, in April 2017, netted over 450 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,000 nationwide sites. SInce the program began in September 2010, officials have collected over eight million pounds of pain pills on the various National Prescription Drug Take Back Days. Nationwide, about 6.4 million Americans admit that they abuse prescription pain pills. Because the statistic is self-reported and because some pain medications, like Fentanyl, are potentially addictive even when used according to directions, the actual number of prescription drug addicts could be much higher.

For a list of drop-off locations in the New York City area, including the DEA office in Stuyvesant, Lenox Hill Hospital on 7th Avenue, and the DEA office in Chelsea, click here.

The Opioid Epidemic

Prescription drug addiction in the United States has cost an estimated $78.5 billion. This expense represents both direct costs, such as medical bills and rehabilitation expenses, as well as indirect costs, such as missed work. The costs are so high because the symptoms of prescription drug addiction are so pervasive and interfere with so many life activities. These symptoms include:

  • Loss of interest in work and/or healthy relationships,
  • Impaired daily activities, such as cooking and cleaning,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Sleeplessness,
  • Lethargy, and
  • Unhealthy relationships.

If symptoms like these affect your daily life, or you are dealing with even worse symptoms, you may have a claim for damages against the manufacturers of these pain pills.

Remedies Available

Dangerous drugs, such as powerful opioid prescription pain medications, often run afoul of the warranties prescribed by the Uniform Commercial Code. First, there is a warranty of merchantability, which dictates that all new products sold, including prescription drugs, must be:

  • Fit for Ordinary Purpose: In this case, the ordinary purpose is pain relief without serious side-effects. When it comes to opioid pain pills, there is no doubt as to the former, but considerable doubt as to the latter.
  • Conforms to Promises: Much like cigarette manufacturers insisted that their products were not addictive, pain pill makers said much the same thing, and in both cases, these words ring very hollow.

Under the UCC, new goods must also be of fair average quality and be adequately packaged.

The very next UCC section contains the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. If the seller knew that “the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods,” a higher legal duty applies.

Foreseeable misuse, such as an addiction to a potentially addictive substance, is usually not a defense. Instead, only gross misuse is normally a defense. Such conduct includes behavior like using a push lawn mower to trim ivy on a brick wall.

Work With Experienced Attorneys

Dangerous drugs like prescription pain pills cost billions of dollars and affect thousands of lives. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. We handle all kinds of negligence and mass tort cases on a nationwide basis.