With opioid overdose deaths on the rise in the Northern District of Ohio and across the country, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan and DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin are encouraging Northern Ohio residents to dispose of their unused prescription medication during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24.
“A surge in overdose deaths this year has already put many communities in Northern Ohio on track to meet or eclipse overdose numbers not seen since 2017,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan. “Participation in this year’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day is even more important as law enforcement fights back against this increase. We ask that everyone look through their homes and medicine cabinets for any unused prescription drugs for safe disposal at one of DEA’s identified locations throughout Northern Ohio. Taking part in Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a significant way for all residents to help us combat this crisis.”
“Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths,” said DEA Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin. “Take Back Day is not only a great opportunity to rid your home of unused medication but is also a time to have important conversations about proper use and storage of prescription medication.”
The public is encouraged to drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites in their community, which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.
Find a collection site using the DEA site locator here: Take Back Day (dea.gov) or contact your local police department.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period.
The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
The Detroit Field Division, which covers Michigan, Ohio, and parts of Northern Kentucky, collected a record-setting 94,000 pounds during the October 2020 Take Back event.
Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539