News Release
September 22, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Arizona to Host First-Ever Statewide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Take-Back Day to help consumers clean out their medicine cabinets
of old, unwanted, potentially harmful drugs

SEP 22 -- PHOENIX– Less than a month into the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) prescription drug “Take-Back” campaign, 74 sites statewide have joined the effort that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. Over 34 state, local and tribal law enforcement partners will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at these sites all across Arizona on Saturday, September 25 th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

In Arizona, the use of prescription drugs has increased among 8 th, 10 th and 12 th graders. Arizonans should be alarmed by the abuse of prescription medications by young people. Prescription drug abuse can be a life altering event that will impact not just them, but their families, friends and communities.

“The Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign will provide a safe way for A rizonans to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall. “This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse.  Working together with our state and local partners and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way.”

"DPS is proud to be a partner in the statewide "Take-Back" campaign helping to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. We in law enforcement have long been aware of the tie-in between drug addiction and violent crime. I'm very proud of the role the DPS Criminal Investigations Division played in this very worthwhile effort. We've long had an excellent working relationship with DEA and this is just another example of how federal, state and local law enforcement can work together to help communities all across Arizona," said Col. Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

“The Take Back campaign is a wide-scale effort to address a wide-scale prescription drug abuse problem,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. “With fewer prescription drugs in household cabinets, fewer people will be tempted to misuse or abuse them.”  

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, 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. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to

Other participants in this initiative include your state and local police departments, sheriff’s offices, U.S Attorney’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter. 

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