Montgomery, Alabama--Prescription Take-Back Day will be held this Saturday, October 26, at locations throughout the State, announced George L. Beck, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Clay Morris, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge for Alabama.
Alabamians will have the opportunity to turn in their old prescription drugs at drop-off points throughout the state on Saturday, October 26 from 10am until 2pm. A list of collection sites is available online at the DEA website, or citizen's may inquire with their local police departments and sheriff’s offices. The DEA also may be contacted toll-free by calling 1-800-882-9539.
Prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Further, studies show that more Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes and that opioid pain relievers are responsible for more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.
Clearly, this is an enormous problem for our youth as well our adult citizens. Keeping prescription drugs after they are no longer needed may entice a teen to try the drug. However, if you safely dispose of your medicine, you will keep it away from teens or others that may abuse the drugs. The Alabama Department of Public Health has cited prescription drug abuse as an emerging public health issue and the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.
In addition to concerns of potential abuse or overdose, it also is important environmentally that medicines be disposed 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. Also, 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.
“This drug Take Back day allows us to rid our medicine cabinets of these potentially lethal drugs,” stated U.S. Attorney Beck. “We ask all of our citizens to use this day to help make their homes a safer place for their family and friends.”
“Take Back is an important step in ridding our country of lethal, illegal drugs,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris. “When the results of the six prior Take-Back Days were combined, the DEA, and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation. This speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. Until such laws are passed, Law Enforcement is the only entity citizens can legally and safely dispose of these drugs.”
Each collection site will be supervised by a law enforcement officer due to the involvement of controlled substances.