Washington, DC – This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, come to one of the almost 5,000 collection sites around the nation to return all unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe and anonymous disposal. This is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in the past five years. Collection sites in every local community, manned by DEA and its local law enforcement and community partners, can be found by going to www.dea.gov or calling 800-882-9539. All states and some territories will be participating Saturday (with the exception of Pennsylvania and Delaware, which held their events earlier in the month).
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses vital public safety and health issues. Many Americans are not aware that 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. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – posing safety and environmental hazards.
“Our goal is to reduce the risk of addiction and the 46,000 overdose deaths a year that come with prescription drug abuse. Take Back Day is a great opportunity for folks to help reduce the threat,” Rosenberg said. “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”
DEA’s previous nine nationwide Take-Back events collected 4,823,251 pounds—more than 2,411 tons—of drugs.