DEA Prepares for 16th Prescription Drug Take Back Day
BOISE – This Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its16th opportunity in eight years to prevent overdose deaths and drug addictions before they start by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, announced U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Bart M. Davis. Davis is encouraging the public to bring their pills for disposal to one of 35 collection sites across Idaho. The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches.)
“Prescription drugs are highly addictive and can be just as dangerous and deadly as any street drug,” said U.S. Attorney Davis. “Taking steps to end the nation’s opioid crisis is a top priority for my office. This summer, I took my own advice, and I found and then disposed unused opioid pain pills from a root canal procedure by dropping them off at a nearby take-back kiosk. This biannual Prescription Take Back Day is an important reminder to remove unused prescription drugs from homes before a chance of abuse can occur.”
Last spring, Americans turned in nearly 475 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,700 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Here, in the District of Idaho, 4,282 pounds of pills were collected from 37 different collection sites. Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 10 million pounds—nearly 5,000 tons—of pills.
This 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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27 Take Back Day Event, go to DEATakeBack.com where you can search by zip code, city or state.
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