APRIL 25 (MIAMI) – After collecting an average of 400,000 pounds of expired, unwanted prescription medications at each of its previous five events in the past three years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its national, tribal, and community partners will hold a sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the country on Saturday, April 27th. Collection sites are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The public has embraced the opportunity these Take-Back Day events provide to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Local law enforcement agencies in thousands of American communities partnered with the DEA to take in over 2 million pounds—almost 1,018 tons—of expired prescription drugs since September 2010.
We are proud to announce that during the past five events, Floridians safely disposed approximately 32 tons of prescription drugs. During the fifth Take-Back event, the DEA Miami Field Division (MFD) collected approximately 1600 pounds (8 tons) of unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
“Florida has come a long way since 2009 when the state was considered ground zero for prescription drug abuse,” said DEA MFD, Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville. “With the success of investigations like Operation Pill Nation I and II, there are fewer rogue doctors and pill mills in our neighborhoods. Floridians can continue to do their part by removing unused and unwanted prescription drugs from their homes. These actions can greatly reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and even prevent overdose deaths.”
Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, and more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to surveys of users.
The MFD has once again partnered with its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners to establish over 160 collection sites throughout Florida. 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. Only solid medicines may be turned in. No liquids, injectables or needles will be accepted.
Four days after DEA’s first Take-Back event 30 months 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. The Act also allows the Attorney General in certain instances to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances. DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Act.