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DEA and local law enforcement partners take back unwanted prescription drugs October 28

(LOS ANGELES) – This Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and its local law enforcement, community and tribal partners will give the public its 14th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Individuals can take pills and other solid forms of medication to one of almost 5,000 collection sites manned by more than 4,000 partners nationwide (DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps). They can find nearby collection sites at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, the DEA Los Angeles Field Division, which encompasses seven counties in Southern California, the states of Nevada and Hawaii, the territory of Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, took in 38,340 pounds of medication as part of the effort. Locally, law enforcement agencies from Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties collected 30,985 pounds.

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. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards.

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