USDA prioritizes funding to facilitate safe prescription drug disposal in rural communities

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture will award additional priority points to Solid Waste Management Grant Program applications proposing innovative projects to promote the safe disposal of prescription drugs in rural communities. Hazlett made the announcement in observance of the 16th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to local leaders in combatting the opioid epidemic in rural America,” Hazlett said. “Helping rural families with local options to dispose of unused medications is an important first step in building healthy rural communities.”

USDA Solid Waste Management Grants support the planning and management of solid waste sites. Rural communities, non-profit organizations, federally recognized tribes and academic institutions can apply.

The application deadline for the Solid Waste Management Grant Program is Dec. 31. Applications can be submitted electronically at or in hard copy to: USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Programs, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 5168, STOP 1522, Washington, DC 20250-1597.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

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