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DEA brings in record number of unused pills during 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Federal, state and local partners collect close to one million pounds across the country

(San Diego & Imperial, CA) - Americans nationwide did their part to drop off a record number of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications during the DEA’s 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, at close to 6,000 sites across the country – to include 41 locations in San Diego County and four locations in Imperial County.  

Together with a record-setting amount of local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed close to one million pounds—nearly 475 tons—of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, making it the most successful event in DEA history.  Over the course of four hours, San Diego County residents turned in 10,821 pounds and Imperial County residents turned in 403.2 pounds of prescription drugs.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected nationally by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

 “You did it!!  Hundreds of you came out on Saturday and took dangerous prescription drugs off our streets,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers.  “You prevented prescription drugs from being used incorrectly, mistakenly or deliberately by your family, friends or neighbors.  Thank you for taking action to stop drug abuse and prevent the disease of addiction from spreading.”

Now in its 9th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

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.

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications.

Complete results for DEA’s spring Take Back Day are available at www.deatakeback.com. DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 27, 2018.  For more information about Prescription Drug Abuse, please visit www.dea.gov

Other local participants in this initiative include the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department, La Mesa Police Department, El Cajon Police Department, Chula Vista Police Department, National City Police Department, Carlsbad Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, Coronado Police Department, Escondido Police Department, SDSU Police Department, California Department of Justice, Veterans Administration Police, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, San Diego County Probation, Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, HIDTA, US Marine Corps, US Navy, San Diego Community College Police Department, San Diego County Health & Human Services, San Diego County Prevention Coalitions, Calexico Police Department, Imperial Police Department, El Centro Police Department, Brawley Police Department, Calipatria Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.


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