State and local law enforcement officials in more than 60 cities and towns across Connecticut will join with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this Saturday, September 29, to give residents the opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Attorney General George Jepsen joined the DEA, the state Departments of Consumer Protection and of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and the Governor’s Prevention Partnership in detailing the state’s growing prescription drug problem and encouraging state residents to take part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by visiting a nearby collection site. Connecticut’s collection sites will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teenage years. Prescription medications are now the most commonly used drugs among 12 to 13 year olds. Two-thirds of teens who abuse pain relievers say they get them from their family members and friends
“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and the problem is here, at our doorstep,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “Safe disposal of unused and unwanted prescription medications is an effective way of getting potentially dangerous substances out of medicine cabinets.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by prescription painkiller overdoses.
“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity for us to increase awareness of the simple steps we all can take to slow the growth of prescription drug abuse, which is a 365-day a year problem, and to encourage everyone to use safe drug disposal practices every day,” Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said, noting that Connecticut has sites for unused prescription medication to be turned in throughout the year, beyond the nationwide event this Saturday.
This past April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds – 276 tons – of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds – nearly 775 tons – of medication.
“The Governor’s Prevention Partnership commends the leadership of the Attorney General and the DEA in bringing focus to the need for proper disposal of unused medicine in order to reduce the risk of youth drug abuse,” said Jill Spineti, president and CEO of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership. “We also remind parents and caregivers to have open communication with their children and to remain vigilant throughout the teenage years, so that misuse or abuse of medicine can be avoided.”