LOS ANGELES, CA – Timothy J. Landrum, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Los Angeles Field Division, announced today that Los Angeles area residents turned in 16,560 pounds of medicine – more than 8 tons – on October 29 th as part of the third DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Event. When the results of the three Take Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 40,971 pounds (20.5 tons) of medication from circulation in the Los Angeles area in the past 13 months.
“The Prescription Drug Take-Back program gives area residents a safe way to dispose of their unwanted medication,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “These medications represent a public safety issue, and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. I want to thank our partners for reaching into our communities and making residents aware of the potential danger of having unused and expired medication in our homes. This collaborative effort resulted in getting more than 8 tons of medicine out of our homes, greatly reducing the hazard they pose to our families and communities.”
In the Los Angeles area, local law enforcement agencies and community groups from Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties joined with DEA to host 142 collection sites resulting in the collection of 16,560 pounds of medicine. Many collection sites provided “drive-thru” service to provide convenient access for residents. Community groups and coalitions also joined with DEA to provide drug awareness literature and community resource information.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month. Often, some of these medicines languish in the home and 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, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that the majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from family and friends for free, including from the home medicine cabinet. Many Americans simply do not know how to properly dispose of their unused or expired medicine, often flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away. These methods can pose both safety and environmental hazards. Many state and local police departments have plans to continue this program within their departments.
The websites listed below provide several options on how to properly dispose of unwanted controlled substances: