LOS ANGELES, CA – The Drug Enforcement Administration and its Los Angeles area community partners are providing the public with another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. On Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the public will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites throughout Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, free of charge, no questions asked. By doing so, they will be helping prevent drug abuse and theft.
During DEA’s two previous National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events Los Angeles area residents turned in more than 24,000 pounds of medicine at over 120 sites manned by federal, state and local law enforcement partners.
Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, creating a public health crisis. The rate of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. today is at an alarmingly high level— two-and-a-half times more people currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined, according to the recently released 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) . The same study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“The Prescription Drug Take-Back event provides area residents with a safe way to dispose of their unwanted medication,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “Medications that languish in the home medicine cabinet are a public safety issue and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. This is another great opportunity for communities to join together to reduce the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, while increasing awareness of this important public health issue.”
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov and clicking the “Got Drugs?” banner, which links to a database where they can enter their zip code.
Four days after DEA’s first event on September 25, 2010, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act and will allow users of controlled substance medications to dispose of their drugs by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Act.