The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, October 29th.
More than 5,100 sites nationwide have joined the effort that seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft. This free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Government, community, public health and law enforcement partners at these sites will be working together to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous if left in the family’s medicine cabinet.
Last September, Americans turned in over 242,000 pounds or 121 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by more than 3,000 of the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners. Also last fall, Congress passed the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow users of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is presently drafting regulations to implement the Act.
The Cape Coral Police Department will be participating in this event again this year. Cape Coral residents can drop off their expired, unused and/or unwanted prescription drugs at the following locations:
• CVS Pharmacy located at 737 Cape Coral Parkway East
• Walmart located at 1619 Del Prado Boulevard
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high. More Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that individuals that abuse prescription drugs often obtained them from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
“The overwhelming public response to DEA’s first nationwide Take-Back event last fall not only rid homes of potentially harmful prescription drugs, but was an unprecedented opportunity to educate everyone about the growing prescription drug abuse problem,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. “Studies have shown that, for many, prescription drugs are the very first drugs they abuse—and all too often they aren’t the last. That is why we are committed to helping Americans keep their homes safe by ridding their medicine cabinets of expired, unused, and unwanted drugs.”
“I encourage every American to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to safely dispose of unused, un-needed, or expired prescription drugs,” said Gil Kerlikowkse, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “Preventing these readily available and potentially deadly drugs from being diverted and misused is something each and every one of us can do to help reduce the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is harming so many Americans.”
“The City of Cape Coral is not immune to the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the crimes associated with it. We are proud to participate in this event,” says Cape Coral Police Lieutenant Tony Sizemore Cape Coral Police Department.