PHILADELPHIA, PA – Vito S. Guarino, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced to its national and community partners, throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware, the opportunity for the public to prevent prescription drug abuse by disposing of their expired, unused, and unwanted medications on Saturday October 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The DEA will have more than 380 locations throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware available for the public to dispose of unwanted medications. The service is free and anonymous and for more information on how to find a collection site near you visit www. DEA.gov, click on “Got Drugs,” then click on “Find a collection site near you” and enter your zip code.
In September 2010 and April 2011, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware turned over more than 15 tons of expired and unused prescription pills that were languishing in their medicine cabinets. These two prior events were also an excellent opportunity to educate people about the growing prescription drug abuse in the United States.
“The abuse of pharmaceuticals is the 2 nd most abused drug, only marijuana ranks higher. In 2010, 2.5 times more people abused prescriptions than cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined. Last year, 2.4 million people, 12 and older, abused prescriptions for the first time, and of the 2.4 million, 1.9 million became dependent,” said Guarino.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, and often come from the home medicine cabinet. Additionally, the collection sites provide an opportunity for the citizens to discard of their unwanted, unused, or expired pharmaceuticals in an environmentally safe manner by avoiding flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both ways pose environmental and health hazards.
DEA recognizes that the overwhelming and continued success of the Take-Back Initiatives are due to the outstanding response from the citizens, the overwhelming support from local and state officials, law enforcement authorities, the District Attorney’s Offices, the health care community, private industry, parents, and volunteers throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware.
In Philadelphia, there are 24 collection sites, including the Drexel University Recreation Center, Port Richmond Pharmacy, Health Care Center Number 3, the Trinity Center for Urban Health, and 20 fire stations located throughout the city.
For more information, visit www.DEA.gov, go to “Got Drugs,” click on “Find a collection site near you” and enter your zip code or call 215-238-5160.
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 at Drugfree.org.