Pill image. Courtesy/DEA
Los Alamos Det. Sgt. Oliver Morris reported that the Los Alamos Police Department collected 353 pounds of prescription drugs at Saturday’s “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” events in Los Alamos and White Rock.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the United Stated participated in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) seventh national event that gives the American public an opportunity to discard unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables and kitchen drawers.
The previous event, held April 27, garnered 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications from members of the public at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day 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.
According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
Shortly after DEA’s first Take-Back Day event two-and-a-half years ago, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow the DEA to develop permanent, ongoing, and responsible methods for disposing of controlled-substance medications. Prior to the passage of the above-cited Act, the CSA provided no legal means for transferring possession of controlled substance medications from users to other individuals for disposal. On Dec. 21, 2012, DEA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Disposal of Controlled Substances that seeks to implement the above-cited Act.