National Drug Take-Back Day Scheduled for Saturday

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration aims to keep unused medicines away from abusers

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- In an ongoing effort to fight prescription-drug abuse by adults and teenagers in the United States, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled Saturday, Oct. 29 as another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

More than 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to a 2009 survey from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Partnership for a Drug Free America also reports that, each day, about 2,500 teens use prescription medications to get high for the first time. Studies show that people who abuse these types of drugs get them by raiding the medicine cabinets of their friends and family members.

To keep unused or unwanted prescription drugs out of the hands of drug abusers, on Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., people can safely throw away their unused prescription drugs at designated collection sites around the country.

This so-called National Take Back Initiative follows two previous collection days held in September 2010 and last April. With the cooperation of nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States, the DEA collected more than 309 tons of pills on those two days.

The DEA said it plans to continue collecting unwanted prescription drugs every six months until it has finished developing a process for people to safely dispose of these medications as set forth in the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 signed into law on Oct. 12 by President Obama.

More information

The U.S. Department of Justice has a database of National Take Back Initiative collection sites.

HealthDay News

HealthDay News

Updated on October 27, 2011

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