Got Drugs? Take 'Em Back

There will be 64 locations across Connecticut collecting drugs on Saturday, September 26.  It is part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Office of Diversion Control.  The aim is to get unused prescriptions and other drugs out of closets, medicine cabinets, glove compartments, and random shelves and drawers, as well as off the streets, before they end up causing harm. In Connecticut, state police barracks and many local police departments are serving as drop off points.  The collection sites will be open as part of the initiative from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday. (See the full list here.)pills20

States around the country are participating, and all but Pennsylvania and Delaware, which held their collection days on September 12, are doing so on September 26. According to a public service announcement prepared by the DEA, “prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in this country, and the source of these drugs is often the home medicine cabinet.”

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.  "Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected, officials reported.  Saturday’s event will be the 10th national effort.

Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, according to officials. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, they point out.

dea-logoOfficials cite studies that show many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, manyAmericans 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.