(MONTGOMERY)--- Attorney General Luther Strange again is urging Alabamians to participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, this Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at locations throughout the state.
This year’s event—the eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back—marks a landmark in Alabama with more than 100 collection sites to be available this Saturday. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to combat the abuse or misuse of potentially dangerous medicines that have expired or are no longer needed for those whom these controlled substances were prescribed. Law enforcement officers will be present at sites throughout Alabama to receive prescription drugs for safe and proper disposal.
Attorney General Strange has been active in efforts to strengthen and expand Alabama’s participation in this recurring effort by law enforcement for the safe disposal of prescription drugs. In recent years, the Attorney General has worked closely with the DEA, all three U.S. Attorneys in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health, local law enforcement and others to promote the Prescription Drug Take-Back program.
Since the first Take-Back event in Alabama, in September of 2010, the program continues to increase in the number of participating agencies and partners, and most importantly, in the amount of drugs collected. More than 145 law enforcement agencies have participated since 2010. Prescription Drug-Take Back events last spring were Alabama’s most successful ever, with more than 60 agencies collecting nearly 6,000 pounds of unwanted, expired or unused drugs in one day for proper disposal. Throughout Alabama’s seven previous Prescription Drug Take-Back events, more than 24,000 pounds of unwanted, unused or expired drugs have been removed and disposed of safely.
“We have been encouraged by the continued positive response of agencies and citizens throughout Alabama who have responded with their support and participation,” said Attorney General Strange. “This is an important and basic step to fight drug abuse and drug-related crimes, by assisting in the removal of potentially dangerous controlled substances from our homes. Many of us have out-dated prescriptions that are too easily accessible to children and others. These drugs can also be the target of home invasions and burglaries. On April 26, we are asking the people of Alabama to protect their homes and communities by locating medicines that are out of date or no longer needed, and bringing them in for safe and proper disposal.”
Law enforcement agencies and interested community partners such as pharmacies, schools, and civic groups are working together to provide as many local sites as possible throughout Alabama. Each site will be supervised by a law enforcement officer due to the involvement of controlled substances. This year, more than 100 collection sites are scheduled to be available across Alabama on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Deliveries of drugs to Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events are confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked. Participants are encouraged to remove labels or black-out information beforehand.
Many teenagers and young people who abuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends or from their home medicine cabinets. According to a survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five teens has tried Vicodin, a powerful addictive narcotic painkiller; one in 10 has tried OxyContin, also a prescription narcotic; and one in 10 has used stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall for non-medical purposes, and one in 11 admit to getting high on cough syrup.
Prescription drugs pose dangers to children and others who may take them by accident or who may use them for abusive purposes. Expired drugs may have lost their effectiveness and therefore no longer be a safe and adequate treatment for the conditions for which they were prescribed. In addition to concerns of potential poisoning, abuse or overdose, it also is important environmentally that medicines be disposed of in a proper manner rather than simply being thrown into garbage, flushed away, or poured down drains, as they could contaminate water supplies and cause an environmental hazard.
People who wish to participate should inquire with their local law enforcement agencies, or may check the DEA website for a nearby location. A listing of sites may be found at www.dea.gov by clicking on the “Got Drugs” icon and then on “Collection Sites.” In addition to those listed on the DEA website, several areas are conducting separate Take-Back events locally, including Covington County, Huntsville, Madison and Madison County. If you do not see your area listed on the DEA website, please check with your local law enforcement officials.