DALLAS, TX – Today, Special Agent in Charge James L. Capra, of the Dallas Field Division’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announces the local component of the 3 rd nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. The DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at over 70 area Dallas/Ft. Worth sites on Saturday, October 29 th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last April on DEA‘s second nationwide take-back day, Americans turned in over 376,593 pounds—188 tons—of prescription drugs at 5,361 sites operated by more than 3,800 state and local law enforcement partners. On the previous two Take-Back Days combined, DEA and its partners collected over 618,000 pounds, or 309 tons, of prescription drugs.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most prevalent category of drug abuse in the United States, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The survey reports that two-and-a-half times more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined. Additionally, the 2010 NSDUH reports that 2.4 million people 12 and older abused prescription drugs for the first time last year, an average of 6,600 a day. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“Prescription drug abuse has become a serious public health and safety issue and it is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem,” said Special Agent in Charge Capra. “Oftentimes, the most common source for access to prescription drugs is the home medicine cabinet. With this National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign, we are aggressively reaching out to individuals to encourage them to rid their households of unused prescription drugs. In working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we can eliminate a major source of abused drugs.”
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 enter their zip code. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.
Other participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the American Association of Poison Control Centers; the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; D.A.R.E. America; the Federation of State Medical Boards; the U. S. Health Resources and Services Administration; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the National District Attorneys Association; the National Sheriffs Association; and the Partnership@drugfree.org.