LOS ANGELES, CA – The Drug Enforcement Administration and its community partners throughout Nevada will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. On Saturday, April 30th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, DEA and its partners will hold their second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites throughout California. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in over 242,000 pounds—121 tons—of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by more than 3,000 of the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners. The agency hopes to collect even more this spring by opening the event to long term care facilities.
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 2009 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 Prescription Drug Take-Back program provides area residents with a safe way to dispose of their unwanted medication,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “Unused or expired medications are a public safety issue, and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. That is why we are committed to helping keep homes in our communities safe, by ridding our medicine cabinets of expired, unused, and unwanted 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 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. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the Act.