26-Nov-14 10:00 AM  CST

DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Days A Success

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently concluded it 9th Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Partnering with local enforcement DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Days are specific days set by the DEA when the public can legally dispose of unused and expired prescription drugs. In September of 2010 the DEA instituted Prescription Drug Take Back Days as a way to properly dispose of prescription drugs, and to keep unused prescription medication from falling into the wrong hands.

            Since the first Take-Back day in 2010 the DEA and local law enforcement have collected more than 4.1 million or 2,100 tons of unused and expired prescription medication across the United States. Keeping unused and expired prescription medications out of the wrong hands continues to be a challenge. In 2011 an estimated 22,134 people died from prescription drug overdose. According to the DEA, approximately 16,665 of those deaths were linked to prescription painkillers.

            Since the Controlled Substance Act prohibits pharmacies and hospitals from accepting patient’s unwanted controlled substances, many people had no means of discarding the medications safely. Most people resorted to disposing of them down sink drains or flushing them down toilets. The only legal option was to hand them into local law enforcement. Knowing this was an ever-growing problem, the DEA created Prescription Drug Take Back Days. Twice a year, as determined by the DEA, patients could safely discard their unwanted and expired prescription medications at collection site overseen by the DEA and local law enforcement. The program has been a great success, but due to new regulations that will allow for safe disposal of prescription medications, September 27th 2014 was the DEA’s last Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Anyone wishing to locate an authored collection site may contact the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-(800)-882-9539.





“DEA and Partners Collect 309 Ton of Pills on 9th Prescription Drug Take Back Day”, DEA, 11-5-14, http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2014/hq110514.shtml, referenced 14. November 2014

“DEA Releases New Rules that Create Convenient, but Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Options”DEA, 9-3-14, http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2014/hq090814.shtml, referenced 14.November 2014

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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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