The Drug Enforcement Administration will host another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday. The event will take place in communities in South Florida and across the country.
That means residents should check the DEA’s website or call its toll-free number to see where they can go to drop off unwanted or expired prescriptions – no questions asked. Visit www.dea.gov and click the “Got Drugs?” icon, and follow the link to a database where collection sites are listed by ZIP codes. The toll-free number is 800-882-9539.
Residents can take their pills (no liquids or needles) to sites between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Since DEA’s first event in September of 2010, the public has surrendered over 3.4 million pounds of pills around the country. Now, the DEA and other agencies have collected more than 1,700 tons of expired, unwanted prescription medications over the past three-and-a-half years. The DEA has more than 4,200 national, tribal, and community law enforcement partners helping with the event.
According to a DEA press release, the public has embraced the opportunity these Take-Back Day events provide to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs.
Last October Americans turned in 324 tons of prescription drugs, according to the press release. Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse, and abuse.
The DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow patients or caregivers to dispose of controlled substance medications by delivering them to agencies authorized by the Attorney General.