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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 26, 2018

United States Attorney Scott W. Brady Encourages Safe Disposal of Medications during DEA’s Prescription Drug Takeback Day April 28

PITTSBURGH - U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady announced the DEA will hold the 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at hundreds of collection sites throughout the Western District of Pennsylvania.

"During National Drug Takeback Day, everyone is encouraged to turn in unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal, no questions asked and at no cost to them," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "Having unused or old medicines in the house increases the risk of accidental poisoning or abuse. You help to safeguard your family’s health and safety when you properly dispose of these medications."

Western Pennsylvania residents can easily locate a nearby collection site by visiting https://takebackday.dea.gov/. The link allows for searches by zip code, county, and state.

Last October Americans turned in 456 tons (912,305 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 collection sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 9,015,668 pounds—more than 4,508 tons—of pills. The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. The DEA can accept pills, patches, and tightly sealed liquids. The DEA cannot accept needles or sharps.

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.

Topic(s): 
Community Outreach
Updated April 26, 2018