On Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Port Washington Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its tenth opportunity in five years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Port Washington Police Headquarters, 500 Port Washington Blvd. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Port Police Chief James Salerno said, “If you can’t make the event, the Port Washington Police has a drug disposal box located in the lobby of Police Headquarters. No appointment is necessary and you can drop your prescription drugs off at any time, day or night.”
Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds—more than 2,400 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 about the Sept. 26 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control site at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.