United States Attorney Encourages Participation in Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores encourages the public to take part in the DEA’s 17th semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 14 collection sites throughout the Northern District of Oklahoma. The event is an effort to rid homes of unused and expired opioids and other medicines, where they are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and friends.
“Prescription drug abuse can devastate families and communities. The fact of the matter is that unsecured and unused medications pose a danger. Research shows that addiction often begins with easily accessible medications,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “I encourage Oklahomans to safely dispose of their unused medications at a DEA Take Back location on April 27.”
“Twice a year, the DEA invites you to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs at locations across the United States,” said Clyde E. Shelley, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Dallas Division. “Please join us in our continued mission to diffuse the curiosity of drugs. It’s the right choice to make and will give people peace of mind that these prescription drugs are destroyed in an environmentally safe manner.”
In October 2018, Oklahomans living in the 11 counties comprising the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa, Pawnee, Osage, Creek, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Mayes, Ottawa, and Delaware Counties) turned over 864.492 pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Throughout the United States, 457 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs were turned in 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.
Collection sites in the Northern District of Oklahoma are:
- Miami Police Department: 129 5th Ave Northwest, Miami
- Miami Nation Tribal Police: 3410 P Street Northwest, Miami
- Robert Whitebird Cultural Center: 905 Whitebird St., Quapaw
- Walmart: 4901 S. Main S. Mill, Pryor
- Walmart: 1002 W. Taft Ave., Sapulpa
- Newson6: 303 N. Boston Ave., Tulsa
- Crime Stoppers Office: 4107 S. Yale, Tulsa
- Patrick Henry Elementary: 3820 E 41st St., Tulsa
-The Met Recycling Center: 3495 S. Sheridan, Tulsa
- Reasors: 7114 S. Sheridan Rd., Tulsa
- Walgreens: 1150 Garnett Rd., Tulsa
- Walgreens: 2323 W. Edison St., Tulsa
- Eastern Shawnee Police Department: 10250 S. 695 R., Wyandotte
- Bear Skin Health Center: 14 S. Main, Wyandotte
For more information or to locate a collection site near you, go the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day web site at https://takebackday.dea.gov/#collection-locator where you can search by zip code, city, or state.