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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Encourages Public to Participate in DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho
45 Collection Sites Across Idaho Designated for Disposal of Prescription Drugs

BOISE – U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis will join the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on April 27th for its 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The biannual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at thousands of collection sites around the country, including 45 here in Idaho.  The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Idahoans know that opioid abuse is at a crisis level, nationally.  Our state is no different, as we, also, experience all-too-frequent drug overdose deaths.  “The widespread prevalence of unused prescription medication is a significant contributor to the problem,” stated U.S. Attorney Davis.  “Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to get rid of a substantial part of the pain pill supply available for abuse.  I urge everyone to do their part to fight drug abuse by going to a collection site and safely disposing of unused, expired, and dangerous prescription medication.”

Last October Americans turned in 457 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 6,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 11 million pounds—more than 5,400 tons—of pills.  The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches.)

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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.  Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin: Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers.

Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.  This initiative addresses the public safety and public health issues that surround medications languishing in home cabinets, becoming highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

For more information or to locate a collection site near you, go the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day web site at www.DEATakeBack.com where you can search by zip code, city, or state.

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Contact

CASSIE FULGHUM
Public Information Officer
(208) 334-1211

Updated April 25, 2019

Topics
Community Outreach
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Component