It's becoming a familiar event across the Tri-State area. Police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) host Drug Take Back Days several times throughout the year, hoping people will clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of unwanted or unused prescriptions and other medications.
On April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Hamilton Police Department and the DEA will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Hamilton Police Department at 1010 Broadway Street, in Hamilton, Illinois. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million poundsâ??over a thousand tonsâ??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 medicinesâ??flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trashâ??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 â??ultimate userâ?? 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 residentsâ?? controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Hamilton Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.