Baltimore, Maryland - Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office announced today that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held on Saturday, April 24, 2021, collected 11,536.59 pounds of potentially dangerous prescription medications at Maryland’s approximately 100 available sites. The nationwide event is held twice a year and aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs and educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
“Pharmaceutical pills can be just as harmful as illegal drugs when they are used without proper medical supervision and without valid medical need,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner. “Over the pandemic we have seen a sharp increase in overdose deaths, and the path to opioid abuse can begin in the home with unused prescription drugs. I am grateful to the Marylanders who participated in DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day to get rid of unused and unneeded prescription drugs, which will help prevent drug abuse and opioid addiction. I encourage anyone who missed the event last week to visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/ to find a collection site near them to take advantage of this free and anonymous service.”
“Thousands of Maryland residents die every year due to overdose, with a significant number of those overdose deaths caused by opioids. Take Back Day provides a vital opportunity for us to fight against the opioid problem here in Maryland,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene. “Those who participated in Take Back Day and disposed of unused prescription medication, may have saved someone from addiction or overdose.”
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States 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.
In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors at any time throughout the year, and at many local law enforcement agency sites. DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs are not accepted.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.
For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find a collection site in Maryland, visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/ or call 800-882-9539.
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