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Don't be a Dealer! Take Back Your Prescription Drugs Oct. 26

  • Category: In The News
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  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto
Don't be a Dealer! Take Back Your Prescription Drugs Oct. 26

On Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement agencies will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked. (Liquids, needles and sharps cannot be accepted.)

Click here or call toll-free (800) 882-9539 to locate the collection site nearest you. Collection sites in North Oaks Health System’s service area include: Target parking lot in Hammond, sponsored by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office; and the Walker Police Department.

“We strongly encourage the community to take part in this initiative by cleaning out your medicine cabinets and disposing of any prescription drugs at a designated drop-off location near you,” urges North Oaks Clinical Pharmacy Manager Jamie Covington. “Rates of prescription drug misuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high – as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to misuse of these drugs. Research shows that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends or stolen from the home medicine cabinet.”

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. In addition, Americans are now being advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

In the spring of 2019, Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (937,443 pounds) of prescription drugs at 6,258 sites operated by the DEA and 4,969 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, the DEA and its law enforcement partners have now surpassed their 10 million pound goal and collected nearly 11 million pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications over the course of 17 successful DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back events.