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DEA Holds Prescription Take-Back Day October 26 as Public Participation Continues to Rise

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

OCT 21 (PHOENIX) – With public participation at an all-time high after six prior events in three  years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its state, local, tribal, and community partners will hold a seventh Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at numerous sites across Arizona on Saturday, October 26th.  Collection sites are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“Arizonans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s six previous Take-Back Day events, disposing of over 48,000 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs in the past three years, “said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “We know that young people consider controlled- substance prescription drugs, like Vicodin, to be a safer way to get high, but they couldn’t be more wrong.  By removing unwanted prescription drugs from their homes, the public helps prevent experimentation, addiction, overdose and even death.”

Prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 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.

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 can enter their zip code.  Or they can call 1-800-882-9539.   No injectables or needles will be accepted.

DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (the patient or patient’s caregiver, including the owners of animals being treated by veterinarians) 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. 


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