Saturday, Sept. 25, the Drug Enforcement Agency is coordinating a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation’s medicine cabinets. Collection activities will take place from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. at sites established throughout Missouri and the U.S.
The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety.
Because prescription drugs are considered hazardous waste, the Department of Natural Resources is partnering with local law enforcement agencies to properly dispose of the materials so it doesn’t end up in landfills or leach into the groundwater supply.
This one-day effort is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse.
— The program is anonymous.
— Prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications, i.e. tablets and capsules accepted.
— Intra-venous solutions, injectables, and needles will not be accepted.
— Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.
Attorney General Chris Koster joins the DEA and other members of the National Association of Attorneys General “Take-back” Day.
“Consumers often find their medicine cabinets filled with outdated, unused prescription drugs,” Koster said. “While these drugs are effective when used as directed in a timely fashion, they can be harmful or even deadly when used incorrectly or abused. By turning in old medications so they can be safely destroyed, Missourians can help keep these drugs from falling into the wrong hands.”
Koster said the initiative addresses the safety, public health, and environmental concerns that unused prescription drugs pose to Americans. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, as well as the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Many consumers do not know how to properly dispose of unused prescription drugs, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both are hazardous to the environment. The disposal of controlled substances – opioids for example – is particularly problematic because of the risk that they will be diverted to the black market. The National Drug “Take-back” Day offers a free and anonymous solution to promote the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs.
In addition to NAAG, other national participants are the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.