Unwanted prescription drugs sought for disposal
Another opportunity is available to prevent pill abuse and theft and rid homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to get rid of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Medications for disposal may be dropped off at: Hackensack Senior Center, 213 First St., Hackensack; Crooked Lake Town Hall, 6300 Woods Bay Drive, Outing; and Leader Community Hall, 7430 State 64 S.W., Motley.
The service is free and anonymous — no questions asked.
Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds — 276 tons — of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in more than 1.5 million pounds — nearly 775 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 their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, by 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 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. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.