GPD taking back unwanted prescription drugs Sept. 27

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The public will have another opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, thanks to the efforts of Greencastle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Residents are invited and encourged to bring their medications to Greencastle High School, 910 E. Washington St., for proper disposal on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It marks the ninth time in four years that Greencastle City Police officials and the DEA have cooperated to help residents prevent pill abuse and theft by properly disposing of unwanted medications.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, authorities stress.

Last October, Americans turned in 390 tons of prescription drugs at 6,072 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.

The presence of expired, unwanted and unused medication in the home is considered a public safety and public health issue, oficials said.

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 their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an "ultimate user" of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized to accept them. It also allows the attorney general to authorize long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents' controlled substances in certain instances.

The DEA is drafting regulations to implement the act.

Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Greencaslte City Police and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

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