April 27, 2016
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
DEA’S National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday
Twice-annual event takes place in Alaska from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30
SEATTLE - 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.
There will be collection sites in the state of Alaska open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. 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.
When the results of the ten DEA Take Back Days for the Pacific Northwest are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 268,456 (134.2 tons) of medication from circulation. Combined results for the previous ten Take-Back events in (2010-2015) resulted in 23,181 (11.5 tons) of drugs removed from circulation.
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.
“Most prescription drug abusers get their pills from friends and family, including from the household medicine cabinet,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “Please remove unwanted prescription drugs from your homes and help prevent substance abuse fueled by our medicine cabinets.”
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.