On Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to 2 pm, local agencies across the state of New Hampshire and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to play an important role in preventing pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Unused or expired drugs can be dropped off at a number of sites – for a list of locations / agencies participating in National Drug Take Back Day, you can visit DEA Diversion website. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. (Please note: the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)
“Efforts to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs like National Drug Take Back Day are so important when trying to address the current opioid crisis that communities throughout New Hampshire are facing,” stated Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association. “We’re proud to take part in this national effort and to help educate our residents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”
Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—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 medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, or the April 29th Take Back Day event and a location near you, please visit the DEA Diversion website today.