SEP 26 PHILADELPHIA , PA. –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 September 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.The DEA will have more than 300 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 or county/city/state to find collection sites near your location. “The growing response to DEA’s national Take Back Day events demonstrates that the public understands, and wants to help combat, the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in America. They recognize the need to rid their homes of dangerous controlled substance medications that teens and others steal, abuse, and sell,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “DEA will continue holding these national Take Back Day events as long as they are needed to prevent diversion, addiction, and overdose deaths.” Americans participating in DEA’s four previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 1.6 million pounds—almost 774 tons—of prescription drugs, most recently at almost 5,700 sites operated by nearly 4,300 of the DEA’s law enforcement partners. DEA’s last event collected more than double the pills as their first event two years ago, with almost 50% more participating agencies and sites this past April than in September of 2010. “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 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). In 2011, 2.3 million people, 12 and older, abused prescription drugs for the first time, an average of 6,400 per day, according to NSDUH.Also in 2009, there were 1.2 million emergency room admissions for misuse and abuse of pharmaceuticals, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Vito S. Guarino. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, and often come from the home medicine cabinet. The many convenient collection sites provide an opportunity for the citizens to discard 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 of which pose environmental and health hazards. “The overwhelming and continued success of the Take-Back Initiatives is 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,” said Guarino. In Philadelphia, there are 23 collection sites, including the Port Richmond Pharmacy, the Trinity Center for Urban Health, the Pennsylvania State Police at 2201 Belmont Avenue, and 20 fire stations located throughout the city. In addition, there are 30 collections sites in the State of Delaware. For more information, visit www.DEA.gov, click on “Got Drugs,” then click on “Find a Collection Site Near You” and enter your zip code or county/city/state to find collection sites near your locationor 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.