MACON, Ga. – DEA is holding its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24 at locations across the country, including several within the Middle District of Georgia, said Charlie Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement. People can find a collection site by visiting www.deatakeback.com and searching under their zip code or city. According to the website, several communities currently have collection locations in the Middle District of Georgia, including those operated by Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Camilla Police Department, Jones County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe Police Department, Perry Police Department, Royston Police Department and Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. New collection sites are being added daily.
“DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day offers citizens a great opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted medicines and prevent those drugs from being stolen and abused. Prescription drug abuse is a blight on our country. We can all do our part to curtail this epidemic by simply cleaning out our medicine cabinets and securely disposing of prescription drugs at a take-back location this Saturday, no questions asked,” said U.S. Attorney Peeler. “I want to thank the many law enforcement agencies in the Middle District of Georgia for participating in DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It’s a great service to our state.”
“The initiative – now in its tenth year – addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Together with our partners, we are not only holding National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but offering other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription medications.”
“Even in the midst of the pandemic, DEA’s nineteenth take-back event will allow Americans to safely and properly dispose of their unwanted/unused prescription medications,” said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. “Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement. DEA will work hand-in-hand with a number of law enforcement, Tribal and community partners, all in effort to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse.”
Georgians participating in the DEA’s last (18th) take back event, which was held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 turned in 5,900 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state. During this year’s event, given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.
In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors at any time throughout the year. For more information, visit www.deatakeback.com and click on “”Year-Round Drug Disposal” to locate disposal sites. DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms. DEA will also accept vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices. If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find a collection site near you, visit www.deatakeback.com. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.