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Press Release

U.S. Attorney, DEA Ask Georgians To Clear Out Unused Prescription Medications, Fight Growing Opioid Epidemic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 27

MACON— The 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this weekend, and collection sites will be open across the Middle District of Georgia, announced Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. People can safely and anonymously dispose of their expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Approximately 6,000 collection sites manned by nearly 5,000 partner law enforcement agencies will be open across the country. In Georgia, people can find their closest collection site online at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 1-800-882-9539. Collection sites are open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Liquids, needles and sharps will not be accepted, only pills and patches.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began this free service to remove opioids and other addictive medicines from homes, where they are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and visitors, including children and teens. DEA has collected a total of nearly 11 million pounds (more than 5,400 tons) of medicines since Take Back Day’s inception in 2010. The rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States continues to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The majority of prescription drug abusers say they get their drugs free from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet. Take Back Day is a unique opportunity for Americans to protect their homes and medicine cabinets from theft and abuse.

“The societal problems created by opioid addiction are serious and widespread, and we are dealing with the negative effects in our justice system every day,” said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Doing something as simple as cleaning out your medicine cabinet of unwanted prescription drugs, and properly disposing of them, will have a positive impact in our communities. The goal is to decrease opioid addiction, and we all need to work together to end easy access to these highly addictive drugs.” 

“Addressing the problem of the abuse of controlled pharmaceuticals continues to be one of DEA’s top priorities,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division, DEA.  “One way to address this issue is to encourage the public to properly remove their unwanted, unused and dated prescription medications from their homes. DEA and its law enforcement, tribal and community partners are holding its seventeenth take-back event in order to child proof and teen proof homes so that these medications cannot be abused. I invite you to do your part in the midst of this opioid crisis as we strive to make our communities safer.”

Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards. Take Back Day provides a free and anonymous way to safely dispose of millions of medications languishing in home cabinets, becoming highly susceptible to diversion, misuse or abuse. Last October, Americans turned in 457 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs on National Take Back Day. It’s quick and easy to locate a disposal site by visiting www.DEATakeBack.com and scrolling down to Collection Site Locator, then entering your zip code or County/City/State to see the collection sites nearest you.

Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, and United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated April 25, 2019

Topics
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Office and Personnel Updates