News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

DEA to Host First-Ever Statewide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Take-Back Day to help consumers clean out their medicine
cabinets of old, unwanted, potentially harmful drugs

AUG 23 -- PHOENIX– The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with state and local law enforcement and community partners today announced a first statewide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. DEA will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites statewide on Saturday, September 25th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“In Arizona, kids as young as the 8th grade are using prescription drugs to get high. The ease of access to prescription medication is a contributing factor in this growing trend of abuse,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall. “This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse. Working together with our state and local partners and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs and reduce the hazard they pose in a safe, legal and environmentally sound way.”

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, 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, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

This initiative is available to all Arizona residents to properly dispose of their unused, unneeded and expired medicine. 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. Other participants in this initiative include your state and local police departments, sheriff’s offices, Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter.

Please visit DEA’s interactive website on the dangers of legal and illegal drugs at www.justthinktwice.com and www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com.

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