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K-State Today Student Edition

April 27, 2012



Riley County Police Department to take back unwanted prescription drugs Saturday

By Steve Galitzer

The Riley County Police Department will be outside Dillons in the Westloop Shopping Center to take back unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The police department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Americans who participated in the Drug Enforcement Agency's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in 2011 turned in more than 377,086 pounds – or 188.5 tons – of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the three prior Take-Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 995,185 pounds – or 498.5 tons – of medication from circulation in the past 13 months.

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 — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first Take-Back event in September 2010, 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 U.S. 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.

The DEA has begun 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 the Riley County Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months. For any questions or additional information please contact Sgt. Brad Jager at 537-2112, ext. 3090.