April 26, 2016
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1100
DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Is This Saturday
Twice-annual event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30
NEW ORLEANS - After collecting and destroying 5.5 million pounds-2,762 tons-of unused prescription drugs in the past five years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) is continuing its efforts to take back unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications. The DEA invites the public to bring their potentially dangerous, unwanted medicines to one of over 5,000 collection sites around the country that are manned by more than 3,800 of DEA’s tribal and local law enforcement partners. This service is free of charge, with no questions asked.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and entering their zip code into the search window, or they can call 800-882-9539. Only pills and other solids, like patches, will be accepted-the public should not bring liquids, needles or other sharps to take back sites.
America is presently experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers. 6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined.
“Prescription drug trafficking and abuse is our nation’s fastest growing drug problem and destroys countless lives, most often leading to heroin abuse and/or overdose,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam. “DEA’s Take-Back initiative provides a safe way for Americans to dispose of their expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs and reduce the threat they pose to public health and safety.”
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The removal from homes of unwanted prescription pills that can be abused, stolen or resold is an easy way to help fight the epidemic of substance abuse and addiction.