April 24, 2014
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1363
Prescription Drug Take-Back To Be Held Saturday, April 26, 2014
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement (DEA) will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills to a disposal site. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. To locate a disposal site near you, go to the DEA Diversion or DEA.gov website.
Citizens may also ask their local police departments and sheriff’s offices for disposal locations. The DEA also may be able to locate convenient disposal sites by calling 1-800-882-9539.
Last October, Americans turned in 324 (over 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds-more than 1,700 tons-of pills.
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. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.
“Take Back is an important step in ridding our country of lethal, illegal drugs,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris. “The amount of drugs that we have disposed of in the past speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. Until such laws are passed, law enforcement is the only entity where citizens can legally and safely dispose of these drugs.”
“This Take Back day is one way that citizens can help combat the growing threat of prescription drugs,” stated U.S. Attorney Beck. “We ask all of our citizens to use this day to help make their homes a safer place for their family and friends.”
DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them 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.
Each collection site will be supervised by a law enforcement officer due to the involvement of controlled substances.Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.