Drug Enforcement Administration


Douglas W. Coleman, Special Agent in Charge

May 06, 2011

Contact: Erica C. Curry

Phone Number: (602) 664-5609

Arizona Residents Dispose Of 3 Tons Of Prescription Drugs

More than 6,000 pounds of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medicine Collected in Second Statewide Take-Back Effort

Glendale, AZ Police Department collection site featured a drive-thru along with shredding services.
Glendale, AZ Police Department collection site featured a drive-thru along with shredding services.

PHOENIX, AZ. - Today, Douglas W. Coleman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement (DEA), announced that over 6,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected during Operation Take-Back Arizona. The one-day DEA nationwide campaign was held on April 30, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and provided Arizonans the ability to properly dispose of their unwanted and expired medications in a safe and environmentally sound way.

Over 40 state, local and tribal law enforcement partners throughout Arizona hosted 96 collection sites where Arizona residents came out in force to support the second statewide prescription drug “Take-Back” campaign and rid their households of unused, unwanted and expired medication.

“For the second time, the Prescription Drug Take Back event was a great success,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “The removal for safe disposal of 3 tons of prescription drugs is an invaluable tool that Arizona law enforcement agencies are pleased to provide to the communities of our state. The more we can do to stop the abuse of prescription drugs, the more effective we will be in reducing death, destruction and despair that accompanies all drug abuse.”

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 Arizona, one in five teens has reported abusing prescription drugs.

This campaign would not have been successful without the assistance of our state, local and tribal police departments, sheriff’s offices, Arizona Pharmacy Alliance and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter.

DEA encourages parents, educators, and young adults to visit the following websites to learn about prescription drug abuse and misuse: www.justthinktwice.com; www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com; www.drugfree.org; and www.dea.gov.

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