Local law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, April 27 and 28. Pills and patches will be accepted. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

This is the 15th event in the past seven years. Last fall, Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back Events, DEA, and its partners, have taken in more than 9 million pounds– more than 4,500 tons– of pills.

 

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 ccidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medicine being stolen 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.

 

Take backs are slated for Friday, April 27 at Al’s, in Duchesne, from 10 a.m. to noon and on April 28 at Davis Food & Drug, in Roosevelt, and Walmart, in Vernal, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back Day event, go to www.tricountyhealth.com or www.DEATakeBAck.com.

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