On Saturday, October 27, local law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 16th opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Pills and patches will be accepted. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last spring Americans turned in 474.5 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,700 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back Events, DEA and its partners have taken in nearly 10 million pounds– 4,982 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 accidental 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 Saturday, October 27th from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Al’s Foodtown in Duchesne, Stewart’s Marketplace in Roosevelt, and Walmart in Vernal. 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.