Drug Enforcement Administration

New England

Brian D. Boyle , Special Agent in Charge

May 10, 2011

Contact: SA Timothy Desmond

Phone Number: (617) 557-2100

DEA New England Collects Over Nineteen Tons Of Prescription Medication

BOSTON, MA. - Steven W. Derr Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England announced that the New England Field Division collected 38,190 pounds of prescription medications during the DEA “Take-Back” initiative that took place April 30, 2011 throughout the United States. In New England there were 579 return sites and 522 participating state and local law enforcement agencies that collected the unwanted medications from the public. Nationally DEA collected 376,593 pounds of unwanted prescriptions at 5,361 collection sites.

“This prescription Take Back event was a terrific success”, stated Special Agent in Charge Derr, “and is just one of the preventive measures that DEA has initiated to help stem the illegal use of prescription medication”.

The results are listed below:

Americans participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA’s) second National Prescription Drug Take-Back event on Saturday April 30th turned in more than 376,593 (188 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,361 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states. This is 55 percent more than the 242,000 (121 tons) the public brought in during last September’s event.

Four days after last fall’s Take-Back Day, Congress passed legislation amending the Controlled Substances Act to allow the DEA to develop a process for people to safely dispose of their prescription drugs. DEA immediately began developing this process after President Obama signed the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act of 2010 on October 12.

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 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that teens who abuse prescription drugs often obtain them 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.

Numerous national organizations joined the DEA and its state and local partners in putting on last weekend’s Take Back Day, including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the American Association of Poison Control Centers; the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; D.A.R.E. America; the Federation of State Medical Boards; the U. S. Health Resources and Services Administration; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Family Partnership; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the National District Attorneys Association; the National Sheriffs’ Association; and The Partnership at Drugfree.org.

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