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

SEP 25 (MIAMI, Fla.) – With public participation at an all-time high after four prior events in two years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its national, tribal, and community partners will hold a fifth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at thousands of sites across America on Saturday the 29th. These Take Back Days give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Collection sites are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Floridians participating in DEA’s four previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 23 ¾ tons—of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription drugs. The Miami Field Division’s last event collected approximately 2 tons in Northern Florida, 3 ½ tons in the Tampa area, 2 ⅓ tons in the Orlando area, and 1 ton in South Florida from 149 collection sites.

“Floridians responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s Take-Back event this past April, disposing of nearly nine tons of prescription drugs,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. “This success sends out a loud and clear message that the community is stepping up and taking charge to prevent their medicine cabinets from becoming the source of dangerous prescription drugs getting into the wrong hands that could have fatal results.”

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 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.

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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