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DEA Hosts its Sixth Statewide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 27 as Public Participation Continues to Rise

Take-Back Day to help residents clean out their medicine cabinets of old, unwanted, potentially harmful drugs

APRIL 24 (PHOENIX) – With public participation at an all-time high after five prior events in two years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its state, local, tribal, and community partners will hold a sixth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the state 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.

“Arizonans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s five previous Take-Back Day events, disposing of over 35,000 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs in the past two years,” said 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.  With everyone’s support, we can reduce the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse while increasing the awareness of this important public health issue.”

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--more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of 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 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 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.

If you’re a parent, please take the time to talk to your children about the harm caused by medicine abuse and educate yourself on the signs of abuse.  Please visit DEA’s interactive website for further information, www.justthinktwice.com and www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com.


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