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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 27, 2017

U.S. Attorney, DEA In Kentucky, And Law Enforcement Announce Prescription Drug Take Back Day To Safely Remove Medications From Local Homes

More than 70 locations this Saturday where Kentuckiana residents can safely and anonymously dispose of potentially dangerous prescription medications

DEA Take Back press conference, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman

          LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentuckiana residents have an opportunity this Saturday to safely and anonymously rid their homes of unused, unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription medications, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Associate Special Agent in Charge, D. Christopher Evans. The National Prescription Take Back Day, is Saturday, October 28, 2017, at more than 70 locations across Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  During this one-day event, federal and local law enforcement will once again partner to increase awareness of prescription drug abuse and provide an opportunity to reduce the availability of prescription pain medications in local homes.

 

U.S. Attorney Coleman and Mr. Evans were joined today, by Rick Sanders, Kentucky State Police Commissioner; Steve Conrad, Louisville Metro Chief of Police; and Col. John Aubrey, Jefferson County Sheriff, at a news conference to encourage families to clean out medicine cabinets and safely rid their homes of unwanted and expired prescription medications.

           

“This initiative addresses a vital public health concern,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Leftover painkillers that gather dust in home medicine cabinets run the risk of diversion, misuse, abuse and theft. Properly disposing of these potentially addictive medications is one important step toward reducing our nation’s opioid epidemic and the related overdose deaths.”

 

DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon said: “The most common way that prescription drug abusers obtain their drugs, is from their own family or from their friends.  We can all do our part to potentially reduce substance abuse, by being proactive and participating in prescription drug take back programs.  Removing unwanted or expired medications from our home is a small step we can all take to keep our families and community healthier and safer.”   

             

KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said his agency will participate by providing 16 Take Back drop off locations across the state. “The continued support of citizens who choose to properly dispose of unwanted prescription pills speaks volumes to the effectiveness of this program,” stated Commissioner Sanders. “By properly disposing of these unused prescription drugs from our medicine chests, we help to prevent theft, misuse and abuse. We also reduce the likelihood of tragedy and accidental poisoning of young children in our homes.”

                                                                                                                                                                                               

“Taking back unused prescription medications means thousands of incidents of drug abuse are prevented in our community,” stated Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad.

 

USA Coleman and Mr. Evans also stated that the Take Back is a great opportunity to begin a dialogue with children to educate them on the dangers of obtaining pharmaceuticals for illicit use. Studies show that two-thirds of all teenagers who abuse prescription narcotics first obtain the drugs from family and friends; often from their home medicine cabinet.

 

Further, Mr. Coleman underscored yesterday’s announcement by United States President Donald Trump, declaring opioid abuse a national public health emergency. The Take Back is one way families and communities can take an effective step toward combatting this epidemic.   

 

Prior DEA Prescription Take Backs have been extremely successful with Kentuckiana residents dramatically reducing the risk of pain pill and other medication abuses by ridding their homes of thousands of pounds of unused prescription medications.

  

Last April the public turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons of unused pills.

 

The Prescription Drug Take Back is part of a nationwide effort sponsored by the DEA. Containers where unwanted and expired prescription medications may be safely disposed will be at locations across Kentucky, and Southern Indiana, on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

A complete list of locations may be found at  www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling

 (800) 882-9539. The KSP drop off locations are available on the KSP website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org

 

Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey reminded all citizens that a drop box is located on the 6th floor of the Sheriff’s Office at 531 Court Place.  It is available for use Monday thru Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

 

Many Americans are unsure of how to properly dispose of their unused medications and often flush them down the toilet or throw them away. This poses safety and health hazards. More information on how to properly dispose of unused medicines can be found on the Food & Drug Administration website:

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm

 

Topic(s): 
Community Outreach
Updated October 27, 2017