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DEA Holds Its Fifth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day September 29 as Public Participation Continues to Rise

SEP 25 (HOUSTON, Texas) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Americans that participated in the DEA’s fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28, 2012, turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories When the results of the four Take-Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation.

"While a uniform system for prescription drug disposal is being finalized, we will continue to sponsor these important take-back opportunities as a service to the citizens of the Houston Metropolitan area. Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution”, said Javier Peña, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Houston Division Office. “These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our law enforcement partners. DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people."

Medicines that languish in home cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they 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.

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 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.



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