OCT 21 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) - The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Columbia District Office is partnering with national, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, as well as community coalition groups, to hold a seventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This one day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
On Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., South Carolinians will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge, no questions asked. By doing so, they will help prevent drug abuse and theft.
Prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Americans participating in DEA’s six previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 2.8 million pounds—almost 1,409 tons—of prescription drugs, most recently at more than 5,800 sites operated by over 4,300 of DEA’s law enforcement partners.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they can enter their zip code. Or they can call 1-800-882-9539.
DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (the patient or patient’s caregiver, including the owners of animals being treated by veterinarians) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.