Expired, unused or otherwise unwanted prescription drugs can be safely discarded at the Newtown Police Department on Saturday, April 26.
The department is participating in the 2014 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and will be taking in the unwanted medicines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The department says pills and patches will be accepted, with no questions asked, but that no liquids or needles can be dropped off.
This will be the eighth time in three years that Newtown Police and the DEA have provided the public with an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
Drug Take-Back Day Basics
- Date: Saturday, April 26
- Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Location: Newtown Police Department, 3 Main St., Newtown, Conn.
- What: Drop off your old, unwanted prescription medicines for free.
Addressing A 'Vital Public Safety and Public Health Issue'
The DEA says this initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
"Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misues, and abuse," the DEA states. "Rates of precription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs."
According to the DEA, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, the DEA states, 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.
"Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons (more than 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 4,000 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds — more than 1,700 tons — of pills."
The DEA says it is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them be 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.