Statewide drug take-back results in big haul - Tucson News Now

Statewide drug take-back results in big haul

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(Source: KSAZ) (Source: KSAZ)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

On Wednesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that more than 10,000 pounds of prescription medications were collected during a statewide drug take-back event on Oct. 26.

The high amount demonstrates 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, according to a news release.

Members of the public visited more than 90 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'sprevious five take-back events, more than 58,000 pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

"The overwhelming public response to DEA's seventh statewide take-back event last Saturday not only rid homes of potentially harmful prescription drugs, but was an unprecedented opportunity to educate everyone about the growing prescription drug abuse problem," DEA SpecialAgent in Charge Doug Coleman said. "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 toAmerica'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.

Shortly after DEA's first take-back event Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended the Controlled Substances Act to allow the DEA to develop permanent, ongoing,and responsible methods for disposing of controlled-substance medications. Prior to the passage of the act, the CSA provided no legal means for transferring possession of controlled substance medications from users to other individuals for disposal.

On Dec. 21, 2012, DEA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Disposal of Controlled Substances that seeks to implement the above-cited Act.

DEA encourages parents, educators, and young adults to visit the following websites to learn about prescription drug abuse and misuse: www.justthinktwice.com; www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com;www.drugfreeaz.org. 

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