Photo: DEA YouTube

Second highest-ever total collected in state

Georgians participating in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative held on Saturday, April 27, 2019, turned in 11,114 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state. The amount collected was the second highest total collected during the previous 16 NTBI events.

Now in its 10th year, this event continues to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

“DEA’s 17th Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign was a success both locally and nationally,” said DEA Atlanta Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy. “While Georgians turned in 11,114 pounds of unwanted or expired medications nationally, more than 469 tons of expired and unwanted prescription medications were collected at nearly 6,400 sites made available across the United States. I would like to thank the multitude of partners (both law enforcement and non-law enforcement) who worked tirelessly to make this event another great success.”

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards.

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications.

DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 26, 2019.

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