Prescription bottles drug generic image September 2020

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

In 2018, 10.7 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.3 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide.[1] In the same year, 6,237 suicide deaths were attributed to self-poisoning making it the third most common method of suicide deaths.[2]

To prevent your medication from posing a risk ensure that your medications are securely stored in your home, and take back your leftover, expired, or unused medications to a participating pharmacy.

“Over 290 pharmacies across the state will take-back leftover medication every day, for free, with no questions asked,” Sarah Hunter, Project Coordinator for the Nebraska MEDS Coalition, said. “Not only does it prevent overdose, accidental poisoning, abuse, and misuse, safe disposal also helps protect our water resources.”

Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at www.afsp.org to learn more about suicide prevention, including identifying warning signs and risk factors, treatment, etc. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Nebraska MEDS Coalition is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Nebraska Legislature. The Nebraska Medication Education on Disposal Strategies (MEDS) Coalition educates Nebraskans about drug disposal. It provides safe ways to dispose of medications to safeguard the environment and protect public health. The Coalition includes the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Lincoln Police Department, Coalition Rx, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Medical Association, AARP of Nebraska, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, KETV, Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April). Preventing Suicide. Retrieved September 11, 2020,

[2] National Institute of Mental Health. (2020, September). Suicide by Method. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from    

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