News Release
Date: April 17, 2012
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Number: 602 664-5725

DEA Hosts Fourth Statewide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 28
--Take-Back Day Helps Residents Clean Out Medicine Cabinets
Of Old, Unwanted, Potentially Harmful Drugs—

APR 17 - (Phoenix, AZ) The DEA is partnering with state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials in Arizona to hold its fourth Statewide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This one-day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.

On Saturday, April 28th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, Arizonans will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge, no questions asked. By doing so, they will be helping prevent drug abuse and theft.

Arizonans participating in DEA’s three previous Take-Back Days turned in more than 18,300 pounds of prescription drugs at more than 95 sites manned by over 40 state, local and tribal law enforcement departments. Last fall’s event encouraged participation by long term care facilities and Indian nations as well as the general public.

“Arizonans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s first three Take-Back Day events, disposing of over 18,300 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs in the past two years,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse. The more we can do to stop the abuse of prescription drugs, the more effective we will be in reducing the death, destruction and despair that accompanies all drug abuse.”

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—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) . Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting and clicking the “Got Drugs?” banner, which links to a database where they can enter their zip code. Law enforcement agencies interested in hosting a collection site on April 28 can register with the DEA by calling their local DEA Field Division office (for a list of DEA Points of Contact for each state, click on the “Got Drugs?” banner on the website and then click on the “law enforcement” link).

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 Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. The DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Act.