The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day over the weekend, Sept. 29, from 10 am to 2 pm.
Following the success of the four prior events in two years, the DEA and its national, tribal, and community partners held the fifth prescription drug take back day at thousands of sites across America. The goal: to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs.
“The growing response to DEA’s national Take Back Day events demonstrates that the public understands, and wants to help combat, the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in America. They recognize the need to rid their homes of dangerous controlled substance medications that teens and others steal, abuse, and sell,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart in a Delcotimes.com report.
The program began in 2010 and according to DEA website, over 1.5 million pounds of prescription drugs have so far been collected. During the last take-back day in April, more than 4,200 state and local law enforcement partners collected a record-breaking 552,161 pounds of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
The abuse of prescription drugs has been noted as the fastest-growing drug problem in America. In 2009, 16 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Among the commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include Oxycodone, Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, Ritalin, and Adderall.
“DEA will continue holding these national Take Back Day events as long as they are needed to prevent diversion, addiction, and overdose deaths,” Leonhart added.