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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prescription Drug Take-Back To Be Held Saturday, April 27, 2013

Montgomery, Alabama - Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at locations throughout the State, announced George L. Beck, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Clay Morris, Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Alabama.

Alabamians will have the opportunity to turn in their old prescription drugs at drop-off sites throughout the State on Saturday, April 27. A list of collection sites is available online at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website, deadiversion.usdoj.gov, or citizens may inquire at their local police departments and sheriff’s offices. The DEA may also be contacted by calling the toll free number at 1-800-882-9539.

Prescription drug abuse has become an enormous problem in our society. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America:

  • 1 in 6 teenagers have used a prescription drug in order to get high or change their mood.
  • Only 6 percent of parents of teens say they have a child who abused medicine. However, 10 percent of teens admit to misusing/abusing medicines in the past 6 months.
  • Two thirds of teen who abuse pain relievers say they get them from family members and friends.
  • Only 2 percent of parents of teens admit giving their child medication not prescribed for them. Yet 22 percent of teens say they were given a prescription medicine not meant for them by their parents.
  • More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes.
  • One person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose in the Unites States.
  • Opioid pain relievers are responsible for more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.

Clearly, this is an enormous problem for our youth as well our adult citizens. Keeping prescription drugs after they are no longer needed may entice a teen to try the drug. However, if you safely dispose of your medicine, you will keep it away from teens or others that may abuse the drugs. The Alabama Department of Public Health has cited prescription drug abuse as an emerging public health issue and the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.

In addition to concerns of potential abuse or overdose, it is also important environmentally that medicines be disposed of in a proper manner rather than simply being thrown into garbage, flushed away, or poured down drains, as they could contaminate water supplies and cause an environmental hazard. Also, expired drugs may have lost their effectiveness and therefore no longer be a safe and adequate treatment for the conditions for which they were prescribed.

“This drug Take Back Day allows us to rid our medicine cabinets of these potentially lethal drugs,” stated U.S. Attorney Beck. “We ask all of our citizens to use this day to help make their homes a safer place for their family and friends.”

“Take Back is an important step in ridding our country of lethal, illegal drugs,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris. “When the results of the five previous Take-Back Days were combined, the DEA, and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 1,483,580 pounds (742.5 tons) of medication from circulation. This speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. Until such laws are passed, law enforcement is the only entity that citizens can use to legally and safely dispose of these drugs.”

Each collection site will be supervised by a law enforcement officer because the program involves controlled substances.

Email: usaalm.press@usdoj.gov
Telephone: (334) 551-1755
Fax: (334) 223-7617

Updated March 12, 2015