The Medford Police in cooperation with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will give the public its tenth opportunity in five years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The event will take place at the Medford Township Public Safety Building, located at 91 Union Street in Medford, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, 2015.
Only pills or patches will be accepted, no liquids, needles, or sharps. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Medford Police Chief Richard Meder stated, “As a police department, one of our primary goals is to help keep our community members safe. In keeping with this goal, we have partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration for the ninth time in four years to help eliminate homes of potentially harmful prescription drugs.”
Last April, Americans turned in 390 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.1 million pounds- more than 2,100 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 United States are alarmingly high- more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that individuals that abuse prescription drugs often obtained them from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away- both potential safety and health hazards.
The D.E.A. is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.
Additional information, and other collection sites, can be found by visiting www.dea.gov, and clicking on the “Got Drugs?” banner.