Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Collects Unused Prescriptions, Educates Public on Drug Abuse

Americans will be able to turn in unused prescription drugs at more than 4,700 sites nationwide on Saturday, April 30, as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, US News and World Report reported.The free event, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will take place from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.  Collection sites can be found by visiting the DEA website (www.dea.gov) and clicking the “Got Drugs?” banner.

DEA officials say the event allows people to safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs that could be stolen and misused if left in a home medicine cabinet.

Take-Back day is also an opportunity to educate people about prescription drug abuse, according to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.  Statistics from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that more Americans abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined.

Most often, the drugs are obtained from family and friends.

“Studies have shown that, for many, prescription drugs are the very first drugs they abuse and all too often they aren’t the last,” Leonhart said.  “That is why we are committed to helping Americans keep their homes safe by ridding their medicine cabinets of expired, unused, and unwanted drugs.”

Last year, more than 242,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at nearly 4,100 sites operated by government, community, public health and law enforcement partners, according to a DEA news release.

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