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New Orleans Field Division Collects Over 35,000 Pounds on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

MAY 09 (NEW ORLEANS) – On National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day held on April 30, 2016, the New Orleans Field Division (NOFD) and its community law enforcement partners collected 35,993 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs at 378 collection sites throughout the division.  The amounts collected for each state within the NOFD was the following: Arkansas – 25,289 pounds; Alabama – 4,494 pounds; Louisiana – 4,383 pounds; and Mississippi – 1,827 pounds.  Nationally, 893,498 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in by the general public across the country at almost 5,400 sites. 

“We are pleased at the response of the public once again, and we thank them for participating in this important event - making their homes and communities safe from possible prescription drug abuse or theft, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.  “With the continued support and hard work of our state and local law enforcement and community partners, these Take-Back events have increased awareness of the opioid epidemic and offered the public a safe and anonymous way to dispose of unwanted and expired medications.”
                       
The majority of prescription drug abusers report in surveys that they get their drugs from friends and family.  Americans understand that cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers that accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses—78 a day—in 2014 (the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  Eight out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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