Expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs can be turned in to the Oak Ridge Police Department on Saturday.
It’s part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Saturday’s event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Police Department at 200 S. Tulane Ave.
The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked, a city press release said.
The goal is to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
The press release said Americans turned in 377,080 pounds of prescription drugs in October 2011 at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. That’s equal to 188.5 tons.
In its three earlier Take-Back events, the DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds—nearly 500 tons—of pills, the press release said.
The press release said the initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue.
“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” it said. “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 home medicine cabinets, the release said. Flushing unwanted medicines 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, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like ORPD and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months, the release said.
For more information, contact Oak Ridge Police Officer Daniel McFee at (865) 556-6696 or [email protected].