Alabama to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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It’s time to clean out the medicine cabinet — the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Considering Alabama has more opioid prescriptions than it has residents — the highest prescription-per-capita rate in the nation at 1.2 pain-killer prescriptions written per Alabamian in 2015 — this is a date all residents should mark on their calendars.
Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA), Alabama has approximately 52 collection sites across the state where Alabamians can safely dispose of unwanted, unused prescription medications.
“This is an important and basic step to fight drug abuse and drug-related crimes, by assisting in the removal of potentially dangerous controlled substances from our homes,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. “Many of us have outdated prescriptions that are too easily accessible to children and others. These drugs can also be the target of home invasions and burglaries. On Oct. 22, we are asking the people of Alabama to protect their homes and communities by locating medicines that are out-of-date or no longer needed, and bringing them in for safe and proper disposal.”

Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have reached epidemic levels, claiming the lives of 78 people every day. The state of Alabama had a nearly 20 percent increase in overdose deaths from 2013-2014, which is why Strange’s office has worked closely with the DEA, U.S. attorneys in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health, local law enforcement, and others to promote the Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

Since the first take-back event in Alabama, in September 2010, the program continues to increase in the amount of drugs collected. DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back events last spring collected an estimated 5,351 pounds in Alabama of unwanted, expired, or unused drugs for proper disposal.

Throughout all of Alabama’s previous events, a total of about 43,000 pounds of drugs have been removed and disposed of safely.

Law enforcement agencies and interested community partners such as pharmacies, schools, and civic groups are working together to provide as many local sites as possible throughout Alabama. Each site will be supervised by a law enforcement officer due to the involvement of controlled substances.

Deliveries of drugs to DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events are confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked. Participants are encouraged to remove labels or black out information beforehand.

People who wish to participate should inquire with their local law enforcement agencies, or may check the DEA website for a nearby location. A listing of sites can be found at dea.gov by clicking the “Got Drugs” box.  If you do not see your area listed on the DEA website, please check with your local law enforcement officials to see if they may be participating in a take-back event.

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