News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 15, 2010
Contact:Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho Yields
Overwhelming Results in Prescription Drug Take Back

DEA Collection Site Yakima, Washington DEA & Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Collection Site, Tacoma, Washington
DEA Collection Site Yakima, Washington
DEA & Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Collection Site, Tacoma, Washington

OCT 15 -- (Seattle) – Mark Thomas, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Seattle Field Division, announced that 18,615 pounds of medicine was collected in the four-state area of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. These results were part of the first-ever nationwide prescription drug ‘Take-Back’ campaign that was held on Saturday, September 25, 2010, and provided residents the opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications.

“In four hours, over 9 tons of prescription drugs were turned in by residents in four states,” said Mark Thomas, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge. “This collaborative effort by all will significantly reduce this vital public safety issue and public health issue.”

The following are results in the four state areas:

  • Washington: 93 collection sites which resulted in the collection of 8,931 pounds of medicine.

  • Oregon: 43 collection sites which resulted in the collection of 6,786 pounds of medicine.

  • Idaho: 12 collection sites which resulted in the collection of 1,562 pounds of medicine.

  • Alaska: 45 collection sites which resulted in the collection of 1,336 pounds of medicine.

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.

For additional information pertaining to DEA and prescription drug abuse, visit www.dea.gov, www.justthinktwice.gov , or www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com .