SEP 26 (DALLAS, TX.) – Today, Special Agent in Charge James L. Capra, of the Dallas Field Division’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announces the local component of the 5th nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. The DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at approximately 70 area Dallas/Ft. Worth sites on Saturday, September 29th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Americans participating in DEA’s four previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 1.6 million pounds—almost 774 tons—of prescription drugs, most recently at almost 5,700 sites operated by nearly 4,300 of the DEA’s law enforcement partners. DEA’s last event collected more than double the pills as their first event two years ago, with almost 50% more participating agencies and sites this past April than in September of 2010.
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--more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. “Prescription drug abuse has become a serious public health and safety issue and it is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem,” said Special Agent in Charge Capra. “Oftentimes, the most common source for access to prescription drugs is the home medicine cabinet.
With this National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign, we are aggressively reaching out to individuals to encourage them to rid their households of unused prescription drugs. In working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we can eliminate a major source of abused drugs.”
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they enter their zip code.
Four days after DEA’s first Take-Back event on September 25 two years ago, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” 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. DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Act.