DEA to hold second Drug Take-Back Day

March 22, 2011

Community pharmacies can partner with local law enforcement if they want to get involved in the second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which will take place on April 30.

Community pharmacies can partner with local law enforcement if they want to get involved in the second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which will take place on April 30.

Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its partners, the April 30 event will enable consumers to rid their homes of expired and unused prescription drugs, dropping them off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at designated sites.

At the first National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, held last September, Americans turned in more than 242,000 pounds of prescription drugs at approximately 4,100 sites operated by 3,000 of the DEA’s local law enforcement partners. This year, the DEA is expanding the event to long-term-care facilities, which can dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.

“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 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,” Leonhart said.

If pharmacy retailers want to offer their facilities as sites for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, they need to contact local law enforcement agencies, said Barbara Carreno, a spokesperson for the DEA. “Local law enforcement agencies have to be involved, because of controlled substances. It is up to the local organizers, such as the police and sheriff departments, to set up the [collection] sites,” Carreno said.

Last year, collection sites included parks, marinas, churches, malls, hospitals, urgent care centers, and senior care centers.