News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 25, 2012
Contact: Lisa A. Webb Johnson
Public Information Officer
Number: 713-693-3000

DEA Holding Fourth Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 28

April 25 - (Houston, TX) This spring, the DEA and its national and community partners will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. O n Saturday, April 28 th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, DEA and its partners will hold their fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites nationwide. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Americans participating in DEA’s three previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly a million pounds—almost 500 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by more than 4,000 of the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners. Last fall’s event encouraged participation by long term care facilities and Indian nations as well as the general public.

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 2010 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 is a major epidemic across the country and DEA is committed to reducing the potential for misuse by providing a safe and secure method for Americans to clean out their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of unneeded, unwanted or expired medications,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.  “Americans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s first three Take-Back Day events, disposing of nearly 500 tons of medication in the past two years.  This nationwide community effort prevents home medicine cabinets from becoming sources of dangerous – and even deadly – drugs."

This Saturday, April 28, 2012, the DEA Houston Division Office will have over 32 drop off sites in, and around, the greater Houston area where citizens can drop their unwanted or expired prescription drugs. In order to find a location near you, please go to www.DEA.gov , then Got Drugs ?; you should then go to “Click Here For More Information” then to “Collection Sites Locator” where you need to input your zip code. The different location sites, with pertinent addresses, in the greater Houston area will surface. There will be no questions asked, just identify the location/address near you, and drop off your unwanted or expired prescription drugs between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Four days after last fall’s event, 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.

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