U.S. Attorney's Office Joins Medicine Abuse Project
Tampa, Florida – U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces today that the Middle District of Florida has joined the U.S. Attorneys’ Community in promoting a multi-year campaign to promote the Partnership at Drugfree.org’s ‘Medicine Abuse Project’ beginning September 23, 2012.
The Middle District of Florida (MDFL), one of 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country, is supporting its local law enforcement and community partners in coordinating a campaign which aims to curb the abuse of medicine, while encouraging parents and the public to take action. A primary focus of the initiative will be to educate communities about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
“This partnership bridges the gap between enforcement and prevention,” said U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill. “We must continue the work of raising the awareness about the dangers posed by the misuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicine. We join our communities in taking the pledge to engage our teens and adults about this important issue.”
“We are deeply grateful to the United States Attorneys’ Offices around the nation for joining this collaborative Project to effectively address the intentional abuse of prescription and over-the-counter cough medicine,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. “The U.S. Department of Justice has been an active supporter of our innovative community-based prevention programs. Forging new relationships with partners in the federal criminal justice community is a significant strategic step forward as we build a sustained public/private initiative. The influential voice of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will help greatly in educating parents and teens about the significant and largely underestimated risks of medicine abuse."
In conjunction with the campaign, the MDFL will also be working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to promote their National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29, 2012. This will be DEA’s fifth time collecting unused, unneeded, and expired prescription drugs. To date, the agency has received 1.5 million pounds, or 774 tons, of prescription drugs from the public.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville said, “Floridians responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s Take-Back event this past April, disposing of nearly nine tons of medication. This success sends out a loud and clear message that the community is stepping up and taking charge to prevent their medicine cabinets from becoming the source of dangerous prescription drugs getting into the wrong hands.
As part of this effort, local law enforcement agencies, coalitions, businesses, and private citizens throughout the district are hosting events and prescription drug collection sites. Counties participating in the campaign include; Hillsborough, Duval, Orange, Pasco and Pinellas. For more information on specific events and drop off locations in your area, visit DEA.gov. Communities can also learn more about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, safeguarding and disposing of medicine, and tips for talking to teens about medicine abuse by visiting www.Drugfree.org.