PHOENIX, AZ. – This spring, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its state, local and tribal law enforcement partners will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. On Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, DEA and its partners will hold their second National Prescription Drug Take-Back at sites all across Arizona. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Arizonans turned in more than 6,200 pounds—over 3 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 75 sites operated by more than 33 of DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners. The agency hopes to collect even more this spring by opening the event to long term care facilities.
“The Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign will provide a safe way for A rizonans to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs,” said Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “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 to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way.”
"DPS is proud to be a partner in the statewide "Take-Back" campaign helping to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. We in law enforcement have long been aware of the tie-in between drug addiction and violent crime. I'm very proud of the role the DPS Criminal Investigations Division played in this very worthwhile effort. We've long had an excellent working relationship with DEA and this is just another example of how federal, state and local law enforcement can work together to help communities all across Arizona," said Col. Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
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. Law enforcement agencies interested in operating one or more sites on April 30 can register with the DEA by calling Public Information Officer Ramona Sanchez at (602) 664-5600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 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.
Please visit DEA’s interactive website on the dangers of legal and illegal drugs at www.justthinktwice.com and the local chapter of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America website, DrugFreeAz.org.
Other participants in this initiative include your state and local police departments, sheriff’s offices, Pima Prevention Partnership, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter.