News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2010
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

DEA Atlanta/Safe Kids GA. Team-Up for Nationwide Drug Take-Back Day
DEA Atlanta SAC, Atlanta Beat Soccer Player, Atlanta Hawks Mascot to be Present at Wal-Mart on Old National Hwy.

SEP 24 -- ATLANTA, GA – The Drug Enforcement Administration, Safe Kids Georgia and numerous, community, public health and law enforcement partners, are reminding the public about a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. DEA, Safe Kids Georgia and other partners will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites nationwide o n Saturday, September 25 th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. There will be numerous “Take-Back” sites set up throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan area and throughout the state of Georgia (see attachment). On the morning of the event from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Atlanta, Atlanta Beat Women’s Professional Soccer Player Kia McNeill and the Atlanta Hawks mascot will be the Wal-Mart store parking lot located at 6149 Old National Highway, Atlanta, GA. 30349.

The take-back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are steadily increasing, 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, 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.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “The uptick in prescription drug abuse continues to be a major concern. Many users of street drugs like heroin start with prescription drug abuse. On this Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM, citizens in our communities near and far can safely and properly dispose of their unwanted/unused prescription medications. In order to carry out this mission, DEA will work hand-in-hand with a number of law enforcement and community partners in an effort to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse.”

“Over half of all accidental poisonings to children under the age of five are due to prescription medications” said Beverly Losman, Executive Director, Safe Kids Georgia. “Our community needs to take measures to prevent these accidents from happening. That’s why Safe Kids is pleased to join the DEA and any other organization willing to take a stand against this issue.”

Gaylord Lopez, PharmD, Director, Georgia Poison Center commented, “The Georgia Poison Center is excited to be partnering with Safe Kids Georgia and the DEA in this potentially life- saving project.  Thousands of accidental and unintentional poisonings will be prevented simply by discarding your unused and expired medicines at the designated sites throughout our state.  Make a difference and empty out your cabinets and junk drawers of all your old medicines.  A simple act like this today may save someone's life tomorrow.” 

Collection sites in the state of Georgia are recorded on the attachment or by going to www.dea.gov.

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