NEW ORLEANS, LA – With public participation at an all-time high after six prior events in three years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its national, tribal, and community partners will hold a seventh National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at thousands of sites across America on Saturday the 26th. These Take Back Days give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Collection sites are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. However, DEA cannot accept liquids or needles.
Prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Americans participating in DEA's six previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 2.8 million pounds— almost 1,409 tons—of prescription drugs, most recently at more than 5,800 sites operated by over 4,300 of DEA's law enforcement partners.
New Orleans Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Joseph W. Shepherd stated, "The proliferation of prescription drug abuse in this country is out of control. We as Americans need to do our part to prevent unwanted or unused prescription drugs from getting into the wrong hands. We urge our citizens, faith based groups, and community and civic partners to join us in this effort." The DEA New Orleans Field Division, which is comprised of Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, will be participating at various locations throughout the four-state region. The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the "Got Drugs?" icon, and following the links to a database where they can enter their zip code. Or they can call 1-800-882-9539.
DEA is in the process of drafting regulations to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an "ultimate user" (the patient or patient's caregiver, including the owners of animals being treated by veterinarians) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents' controlled substances in certain instances
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