As the issue of prescription drug addiction heats up on the campaign trail and in the political arena, President Obama highlighted the importance of prescription drug safety in his weekly address Saturday.
Sept. 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a day in which people can safely dispose of expired and unwanted prescription medication at local collection sites.
"More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car crashes. And most of those deaths aren't due to drugs like cocaine or heroin — but rather prescription drugs," said Obama. "Most young people who begin misusing prescription drugs don't buy them in some dark alley — they get them from the medicine cabinet."
In 2013, more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription pain medication, and many prescription drug abusers use it as a gateway drug to heroin. As a result of this, between 2013 and 2014 the U.S. saw a 33 percent increase in the number of heroin users nationwide.