SEATTLE – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its community partners throughout Alaska will provide to the public a safe, free and anonymous way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs on Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Prescription drug abuse is just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs, and now ranks second to marijuana as the most abused class of drugs in the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. “This initiative provides a safe way to dispose of these potentially dangerous medications and symbolizes the commitment by all to halt this disturbing trend.”
This is the third DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is at an alarmingly high level – two-and-a-half times more people currently abuse prescription drugs than use cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Alaska residents who participated in DEA’s two previous National Take-Back Day events turned in nearly 1.5 tons of unwanted and expired prescription drugs. Currently, there are over 35 registered sites throughout the state. Collection sites may be found by going to www.dea.gov and clicking on the “Got Drugs?” banner at the top of the home page, which connects to a database that the public may search by zip code, city or county. Additionally, the public may call 1-800-882-9539 for locations.