A national event tomorrow is aimed at getting unused medications out of your medicine cabinet and into the proper hands.
The National Take Back Initiative is an opportunity for the public to take medications to participating law enforcement agencies tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., to be disposed of. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration picked up the program after hearing about local law enforcement agencies conducting their own.
Diversion Program Manager Scott Collier says his agency decided to conduct a national take back event realizing that the public typically has no way to safely get rid of these drugs. Drugs that are not properly disposed are often abused, or can prevent health and environmental risks.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medication can be dropped off anonymously. It is then boxed up and held until DEA picks it up to be incinerated.
Collier cites information from the Partnership for a Drug Free America that says about 2,500 teens a day get high for the first time on prescription drugs. More than seven million Americans are estimated to abuse prescription drugs according to data from 2009.
This is the third Take Back event. In the previous two, a combined 309 tons of material was collected. DEA is holding one about every six months.
Collier says the program is not paid for with tax dollars. It is funded through the diversion control fee account, which is where money from licenses and registrations for physicians, pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry goes.
To find a drop-off site near you, visit the DEA’s webpage for the National Take Back Initiative here.
AUDIO: Listen to Mike Lear’s interview with Scott Collier – 6:13