SEP 24 (PHOENIX)– With public participation at an all-time high after four prior events in two years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its state, local, tribal and community partners will hold its fifth Statewide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at various sites across Arizona on Saturday the 29 th. These Take Back Days give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired or unwanted prescription drugs.
On Saturday, September 29th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, Arizonans 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 be helping prevent drug abuse and theft.
“Arizonans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s four previous Take-Back Day events, disposing of close to 27,000 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs in the past two years,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “With the continued support and hard work of our law enforcement partners and community coalitions, these events have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue.”
Medicines that languish in home 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—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
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.
Four days after DEA’s first event on September 25th, two years ago, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” 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. The DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Act.
If you’re a parent, please take the time to talk to your children about the harm caused by medicine abuse and educate yourself on the signs of abuse. Please visit DEA’s interactive website for further information, www.justthinktwice.com and www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com.