An elderly couple drop off their unused, unneeded, and unwanted prescription medications on April 30, 2011 at the Ocean View, Delaware Police Department. More than 4,400 pounds of expired pharmaceuticals were disposed of by the citizens of Delaware at 29 collection sites throughout the state.
Delaware residents dispose of their unwanted, unused, and expired drugs at one of 29 drop off locations in Delaware, the Dover Downs Racetrack in Dover.
PHILADELPHIA, PA. – John J. Bryfonski, Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration today announced the overwhelming success of the second national prescription drug “Take-Back” campaign throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware. A total of 24,650 pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted pharmaceuticals were dropped off at more than 400 collection sites in Pennsylvania and Delaware. During the first-ever ever National Take Back-Day in September 2010, a total of 6,250 pounds of unneeded pharmaceuticals were dropped off by residents.
DEA and other law enforcement authorities working at collection sites throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware reported record number of citizens ridding their medicine cabinets of unused or unwanted prescription drugs. For example, a couple from Middletown Township, Pennsylvania had prescription drugs since 1985, which were finally disposed of at one of the collection locations near their residence in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
“This past Saturday, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Great State of Delaware really stepped up by taking the time, the initiative and care to rid their homes and work places of more than 12 tons of unused, unwanted or expired drugs. This outstanding turnout by our fellow Americans proves they care about the expanding threat of pharmaceutical drug abuse and the potential danger posed by having more than 12 tons of drugs in our homes and work places where they are most susceptible to falling into the wrong hands; oftentimes the smallest of hands, which inevitably leads to tragedy. The DEA is most proud of the work by our municipal, county, and state law enforcement colleagues as well as the participating District Attorney’s Offices and municipal and county governments who so strongly supported this effort throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania,” said Bryfonski.
This initiative addressed important public safety and public health concerns for more than seven million Americans who abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing substance abuse problem in the United States today.
More people abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin combined. One in three of all new prescription drug abusers are between 12-17 years old, and for children in the same age bracket, emergency room treatments for prescription abuse is up over 400 % over the last ten years. Additionally, forty percent of teens wrongly think prescription drugs are safer than street drugs,” said Bryfonski.
Additionally, the collection sites provided an opportunity for the citizens to discard of their unused, expired, and unwanted pharmaceuticals eliminating the opportunity for misuse and abuse as well as allowing for an environmentally safe means of disposal.
DEA recognized that the overwhelming success of the Take-Back Initiative was 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. Their participation was bolstered by an extensive advertising campaign and media participation.