Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Initiative In The Eastern District Of Oklahoma
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – Brian J. Kuester, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today the results of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Initiative in the Eastern District. The Take Back Initiative was created so people would have an opportunity to safely dispose of unused opioids and other medicines from their homes, where, if not disposed of, they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.
“The DEA’s Take Back initiative is not only a day when unwanted or expired prescription medications can be safely disposed of, it is also an opportunity for all of us to be reminded of the dangers of retaining those medications in our homes. This year, on April 28th, the DEA collected nearly 130 pounds of pharmaceuticals in the Eastern District. That is 130 pounds of prescription medications that will not end up in the mouths of children or lead to overdoses or other medical emergency situations. That is 130 pounds of prescription medications that will not pollute any water source because it is being safely disposed of by the DEA,” Kuester said. “I commend the DEA for including the Take Back days and drop-off locations as an important component of their efforts to protect the public.”
The DEA Take Back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards. For further information about the DEA’s Diversion Control Division you can visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/index.html.
If you missed this year’s first Take Back Day you need not wait for the next one. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), also a partner in the effort to reduce prescription drug abuse by offering safe disposal options, offers locations throughout the state as well. OBN’s website, found at www.ok.gov/obndd can assist you in finding a location near you.
Kuester added, “We all play a role in reducing prescription drug abuse. Federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies are working together to address the problem. With heightened awareness and assistance from the public, we can and will make a difference in our communities.”