DEA Prepares for Prescription Drug Takeback Day
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
DALLAS - U.S. Attorney John Parker wants to encourage the public to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017.
On October 22, 2016, the public turned in 731,269 pounds—almost 366 tons—of medication to DEA and more than 4,000 of its community partners at almost 5,200 collection sites nationwide. Over the life of the program, 7.1 million pounds (more than 3,500 tons) of prescription drugs have been removed from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and nightstands by citizens around the country.
Unused medicines in the home are a problem because the majority of the 6.4 million Americans who abused CPDs in 2015, including the almost 4 million who abused prescription painkillers, say they obtained those drugs from friends and family, including from a home medicine cabinet, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last month. Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin: Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers. Almost 30,000 people—78 a day—died from overdosing on these painkillers or heroin in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Collection sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide. To locate a collection site near you, go the DEA Office of Diversion Control web site at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback where you can search by zip code, city, or state. The service is free and anonymous.
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Updated April 28, 2017