Douglas W. Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced Thursday that Arizonans turned in 60 percent more pills than last year's Take-Back event, demonstrating the public’s continued appreciation and need for the opportunity to discard unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables and kitchen drawers.
On April 27, 13,069 pounds (6½ tons) of prescription medications were collected from members of the public at more than 95 locations manned by over 60 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 48,000 pounds (24 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.
“We are pleased at the response of our communities once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution. “These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners, and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people.”
The DEA’s Take-Back events are a significant piece of the White House’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy released in 2011 by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Disposal of unwanted, unused or expired drugs is one of four strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion laid out in Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. The other strategies include education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth; enhancing and encouraging the establishment of prescription drug monitoring programs in all the states; and increased enforcement to address doctor shopping and pill mills.