U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats is encouraging the public to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event is set for Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Prescription drug abuse constitutes one of the greatest public safety and public health epidemics of our time. It inflicts devastating, long-term, harm to individuals as well as destroying families and communities throughout the country,” said U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats. “We can all do our part to fight this epidemic by cleaning out our medicine cabinets of unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal at one of the many collection sites.”
Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds. That is more than 2,400 tons of pills.
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. In addition, Americans are now advised that flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash both pose potential safety and health hazards.
In Altus, both Rexco and Bunker Hill Pharmacies accept prescription drug drop-offs. A staff member of Bunker Hill Pharmacy stated, “It’s something we do daily and they’re always accepted here.” There is also a drop-off box located in the lobby of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
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