United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Fifth Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, September 29, 2012
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Friday, September 28, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Tomorrow, the Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. On Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., DEA and its partners will hold their fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites nationwide. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Agencies in most counties in the Eastern District of California are participating. Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database, where participants enter their zip code.
On Take-Back Day last April, Americans turned in a record-breaking 276 tons of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites available nation-wide.
Regarding tomorrow’s event, DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said "We are pleased at the response of the American people once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse." Ms. Leonhart added that 4,268 agencies are participating with DEA nationwide in tomorrow’s event. "While a uniform system for prescription drug disposal is being finalized, we will continue to sponsor these important take-back opportunities as a service to our communities. Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution. These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our state, federal, local, and tribal partners and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people."
Last Thursday, September 20, 2012, Mr. Wagner convened a Summit in Sacramento to address the abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers. He said, “Prescription drugs, when responsibly prescribed and used as directed, are a great benefit to our society. However, the abuse of these same drugs has occasioned a public health crisis so serious that the Center for Disease Control has classified it as an epidemic. Although prescription drug abuse affects people of all ages, our youth are the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, two thirds of teens who abuse say they acquire prescription drugs not from a street dealer, but from a friend or family member. Because the source of supply is coming from our own medicine cabinets, law enforcement alone can never solve this problem. The solution to this epidemic will require our collective efforts.”
The United States Attorney announced at last week’s Summit the creation of an Action Committee on Teen Prescription Drug Abuse, with membership composed of local, state and federal governmental agencies, schools, non-profits, and other interested stakeholders. For the next year, the Action Committee will focus on providing training and education in the schools to prevent the abuse of pharmaceuticals.