United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald and DEA Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr. announced that the DEA and its national, tribal and community partners will host the 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at more 6,000 sites nationwide, including 116 locations in Minnesota. To date, 48 counties in Minnesota will host drop-off locations, including sites on the Bois Fort, Leech Lake, Lower Sioux, Upper Sioux and White Earth Reservations. Individuals can dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications. This service is free and anonymous, however DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or other sharp objects.
Every year, America is losing more than 70,000 people to drug overdose deaths. This is the equivalent of the capacity of Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium with additional space needed for 4,000 more people. In 2017, an estimated 3.2 million Americans age 12 or older reported misusing prescription pain relievers within the last month, making prescription opioids the second-most abused drug after marijuana in the United States. The majority of prescription drug abusers say they get their drugs free from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“In Minnesota, 2,503 people died of opioid overdose between 2014 and 2017,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr., said. “These were mothers, fathers, children, friends and neighbors in our communities who didn’t need to die. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a way in which members of our communities can do their part to prevent the next overdose death by cleaning out their cabinets and those of their loves ones and getting rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications that have the potential for abuse.”
“I encourage Minnesotans to take an active role in ending the opioid epidemic by safely and responsibly disposing of their unused prescription medications. This one small step toward prevention could save the life of a friend, neighbor or loved one,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald.
Now in its ninth year, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day initiative continues to remove high amounts of opioids and other medicines from homes, where they are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and visitors, including children and teens. Since the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held in 2010, DEA has collected nearly 11 million pounds of medications.
To locate a DEA Take Back site, visit www.DEATakeBack.com or call 1-800-882-9539.Visit http://www.deatakeback.com to find a drop off site near you.
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600