Drug Enforcement Administration

New Orleans

Stephen G. Azzam, Special Agent in Charge

October 18, 2016

Contact: SA Debbie Webber

Phone Number: (504) 840-1100

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Is This Saturday

Event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 22nd

NEW ORLEANS - After collecting and destroying about 6.4 million pounds-about 3,200 tons-of unused prescription drugs in the past six 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 4,700 collection sites around the country that are manned by more than 3,800 of DEA’s local law enforcement agencies and community 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.  6.4 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and (NSDUH), more than abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and methamphetamine combined. 

Every day, 2,500 teens take a prescription drug to get high the first time, according to the NSDUH.  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.

“Prescription drug abuse has become the nation’s fastest growing drug problem, destroying countless lives.  The pill epidemic has directly contributed to the rise in heroin abusers, overdoses and death.  ” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.  “DEA’s Take-Back initiative provides another way to address this epidemic and a safe way for our citizens to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs and reduce the threat they pose to public health and safety.”

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.

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