September 24, 2010

DEA: Surrender Your Unused Prescription Drugs Saturday

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its first ever "National Take-Back Day" this Saturday, asking members of the public to turn in their unused, expired or unwanted prescription medications at one of more than 4,000 nationwide collection sites.

The one-day initiative is a collaborative effort between the DEA and various state and local law enforcement agencies, and seeks to get commonly abused drugs out of circulation.
"These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety," said the DEA in a statement.

Indeed, certain prescription drugs have caused addicts to turn to theft and home invasion robberies in recent years. 

Prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications will be accepted on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, from 10 A.M.-2 P.M. local time, the agency said.

Anyone who participates will be able to surrender his or her medications anonymously and without fear of prosecution.

"The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked," the DEA said.

The drugs will then be safely incinerated.

Illegal substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine, along with intra-venous solutions, injectables and needles will not be accepted.

"With this National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign, we are aggressively reaching out to individuals to encourage them to rid their households of unused prescription drugs that pose a safety hazard and can contribute to prescription drug abuse," said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler.

"Prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem, and take-back events like this one are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health," said Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske.

"The Federal/state/and local collaboration represented in this initiative is key in our national efforts to reduce pharmaceutical drug diversion and abuse."

An interactive list of collection sites can be viewed here.