Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at high rates, 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, 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 National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign will provide a safe way for Americans to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs," said Michele M. Leonhart, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. "This effort symbolizes DEA's commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse. Working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way."
Other participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.
Locally, the Newton County Sheriff's Office and DeKalb County Sheriff's Office are participating in the campaign, as are law enforcement in most Atlanta area counties and cities.
For more information, go to http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/takeback/