News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 04, 2012

SAC Fox and the NOFD Take to the Airwaves
to Promote National Take Back Resulting in Record Numbers

SAC Fox appearing with Crime Stoppers CEO Darlene Cusanza and FOX reporter Rob Masson.
SAC Fox appearing with Crime Stoppers CEO Darlene Cusanza and FOX reporter Rob Masson.
SAC Fox being interviewed by reporter Latonya Norton from NBC concerning the Take Back Initiative.
SAC Fox being interviewed by reporter Latonya Norton from NBC concerning the Take Back Initiative.
Radio personality Mike Swift from New Orleans station 102.9 and a Take Back patron turning in unwanted prescription drugs.
Radio personality Mike Swift from New Orleans station 102.9 and a Take Back patron turning in unwanted prescription drugs.

May 04 (New Orleans, LA) - During the month of
April 2012, SAC Jimmy S. Fox III and other members of the New Orleans Field Division took to the airwaves to get the word out about the fourth Annual National Drug Take Back Initiative. The activities included appearances by SAC Fox on several news affiliates
for ABC and FOX. ASAC Bill Bryant also conducted several on camera interviews with CBS affiliates in Little Rock, AR. Additionally, GS Louis Lejarza participated in an interview on a New Orleans based Latino radio station. These efforts, along with printed media, the digital billboard initiative (coverage on
digital billboards throughout NOFD), the city bus initiative (Take Back advertisement on NOFD city buses), radio broadcasts from New Orleans 102.9
and the partnership with Crime Stoppers on their regional website allowed the NOFD to be well represented in our efforts to educate the general
public about the National Take Back Initiative.

These efforts however, paled in comparison to the “behind the scenes” preparation and support from
DEA employees and state and local counterparts all over the NOFD. Consequently, on April 28, 2012, the general public responded overwhelmingly by turning in a record-breaking 19,135.4 pounds of prescription drugs. This represents an increase of over 4,000 pounds from the last initiative. The initiative also broke records nationally as DEA collected 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the four Take Back initiatives to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation. 

"We are pleased at the response of the American people once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, who added that 4,268 agencies participated with DEA nationwide in Saturday’s event. “While a uniform system for prescription drug disposal is being finalized, we will continue to sponsor these important take-back opportunities as a service to our communities. Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution. These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our state, federal, local, and tribal partners and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people.”

SAC Fox was quoted as saying, “ Prescription Drugs are the new crack cocaine.  Consequently, the prescription drug epidemic is present in each and every state in this country and it cannot be resolved with enforcement alone.  DEA recognizes the solution involves a proactive response from all affected parties including parents, children and the community as a whole.”

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 2010 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.

Four days after the first Take-Back event in September 2010, 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 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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