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DEA Gears Up for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Event aims to prevent addiction and reduce drug poisoning deaths

The Drug Enforcement Administration will host its 23rd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  This event offers anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide including nearly 130 sites across the five state DEA Omaha Division.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has provided an easy, no-cost opportunity to dispose of medicines stored in the home that are susceptible to misuse and theft.

Opioid misuse remains at epidemic levels in the United States.  According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.

“Take Back Day serves as a great reminder for families to not only clean out their medicine cabinets and rid the house of unused medications, but also to sit down together and talk about the dangers of prescription medication misuse and abuse,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. “We need to remind people that the only prescription medication they should take is the one prescribed specifically to them by a doctor and filled at a pharmacy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, approximately 107,622 people died as the result of a drug poisoning last year.  This means that someone in the United States is dying of a drug poisoning every five minutes.

On Saturday, October 29, DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other forms of prescription drugs.  Collection sites will not accept syringes, sharps, and illicit drugs.  Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container.  The cap must be tightly sealed to prevent leakage.  The event will also continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.

A location finder and partner toolbox are available at www.DEATakeBack.com for easy reference to nearby collection sites.  Beyond DEA’s Take Back Day, there are also opportunities to regularly and safely dispose of unneeded medications at close to 15,000 pharmacies, hospitals, and businesses prescription disposal locations.  In addition, many police departments provide year-round drop boxes.

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