News and Press Releases

Drug Take Back Day Oct. 29
Something You Can Do About Rx Drug Abuse



Oct. 21, 2011

MAYETTA, KAN. – Safely disposing of old and unused prescription drugs is the first step in dealing with America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in America,” Grissom said. “Our family medicine cabinets are full of old and unused bottles of powerful pain killers, sedatives, tranquilizers and stimulants that should be disposed of safely.”

Grissom joined with Joyce Guerrero, Vice Chairperson of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Steve Cadue, chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, and other tribal leaders for a news conference to urge the public to take part in National Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at locations throughout Kansas. Law enforcement officers will be on hand to accept prescription drugs and to see that they are disposed of safely.

To find a location near you, visit the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control at:

Last month, Grissom partnered with the KU Medical Center to sponsor a Drug Summit focusing on the public health and safety threat posed by the rapid increase of prescription drug abuse. He cited the following statistics:

– Drug overdoses are the second most common cause of accidental death in America. Only automobile accidents cause more deaths. Prescription drug abuse causes more deaths than gunshot wounds or homicides. (Centers for Disease Control)
– Prescription drugs cause more overdose deaths than cocaine or heroin. (Centers for Disease Control)
– Three quarters of teenagers who are abusing prescription drugs reported they got them from friends and family, including home medicine cabinets (Office of National Drug Control Policy)
– Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time (Partnership for a Drug Free America).

“Parents need to talk to their teens about prescription drugs,” Grissom said. “Teenagers too often buy into the myth that prescription drugs are safe – no matter how they are used. It’s not true. You can overdose on prescription drugs as easily as you can on heroin.”

Grissom said he is working to support the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s 2011 Drug Abuse Prevention Plan. The report, “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis,” is available at

“Law enforcement and health care providers need the public’s help to tackle this problem,” Grissom said.



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