National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; more Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens like LSD, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Take-Back Days are presently needed because the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as originally written didn’t provide a way for patients, caregivers, and pet owners to dispose of such controlled substances (CS) medications such as painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants like ADHD drugs.  People were flushing their old meds down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, but in recent years medicines have been found in the nation’s water supplies, and medications were being retrieved from the trash by those who would abuse or sell them.

To give people a more environmentally responsible and secure way to dispose of their meds, DEA launched its first Take- Back event in September 2010.  Four days later, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.  DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act.  Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies life the Greencastle Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events twice a year.

The Greencastle Police Department has been participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Event since April of 2011 with the assistance of the Greencastle High School.  Also just recently the Greencastle Police Department has partnered with Buzzi Unicem USA who will be assisting in the destroying of all medications collected via their incinerator.   See the following attachment that will show the amount of prescription drugs that have been collected in Greencastle, State of Indiana, and Nation wide since the DEA sponsored the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day back in September of 2010.