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The New Orleans Field Division DEA Office
is Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs April 30, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has partnered with Local Law Enforcement Agencies to give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to a site near you. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions asked. Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov . This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.

Last September, Americans turned in 242,000 pounds—121 tons—of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners, including those in the New Orleans Metro area.

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, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

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 to accept them. At this time those entities are law enforcement agencies. 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.


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