The Drug Enforcement Administration is looking to reach the 10 million pound mark this October after collecting a total of more than 9.9 million pounds (nearly 5,000 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications during 15 previous events over the past eight years.
The DEA’s fall 2018 Take Back event will be held across the country on Saturday, October 27th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The service is free and anonymous, however, the drop off locations will not accept liquids, needles or sharp objects.
“In the midst of this worst-ever opioid epidemic, where we’re losing over 166 people a day, it’s absolutely critical that we get unused prescription drugs out of homes and dispose of them safely at these Drug Take Back events,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam. “Unfortunately, these drugs are most often obtained from friends and family, who leave them in home medicine cabinets. This event provides citizens an easy and safe way to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. Please do your part to keep our communities safe by participating in Saturday’s event.”
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States continue to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Because the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration have advised the public that flushing their prescription drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards, DEA launched its prescription drug take back program to encourage the safe disposal of medications.
There will be 42 drop off locations across the state and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy said that they will be accepting prescriptions of any kind.
“Last spring when we did this we were able to take back between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds of prescription medication,” Dowdy said. “This is an important project that we work on every year with the DEA because it helps get the prescription drugs off the street and keeps them out of the hands of teenagers and any other drug seekers.”