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DEA Holds its Fifth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day September 29 as Public Participation Continues to Rise

SEP 25 (SAN FRANCISCO , Calif.) —With public participation at an all-time high after four prior events in two years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its national, tribal, and community partners will hold a fifth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at thousands of sites across America on Saturday the 29 th.  These Take Back Days give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs.  Collection sites are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Participating agencies in the Northern and Eastern Judicial Districts of California include federal, state and local law enforcement located in the following counties: Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, and Yuba.Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations daily.

Americans participating in DEA’s four previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 1.6 million pounds—almost 774 tons—of prescription drugs, most recently at almost 5,700 sites operated by nearly 4,300 of the DEA’s local law enforcement partners. DEA’s last event collected more than double the pills as their first event two years ago, with almost 50% more participating agencies and sites this past April than in September of 2010.

“There has been an overwhelming public response to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams. “This response underscores the public’s commitment in combating the problem of prescription drug abuse in our communities. The success of this event would not be possible without the invaluable support of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”

Medicines that languish in home 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--more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2011 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 enter their zip code. 

Four days after DEA’s first Take Back event two years 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.

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