2011-04-26 / Front Page

Area Law Enforcement Agencies, DEA To Host Tox Away Day April 30

Staff Report

When someone notices an expired prescription pill bottle or two in their medicine cabinet it’s most generally flushed down the privy or left alone where many times, children have access. In a continuing effort to safely dispose of unwanted medications, the Spencer Police Department will host its second annual Tox Away Day on Saturday, April 30 at the SPD on North West Street.

Partnering with the Owen County Sheriff ’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the day will provide the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, no questions asked.

Officers will be stationed in the SPD parking lot for a drive-through drop-off from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

This past September, Americans turned in over 242,000 pounds – 121 tons – of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by more than 3,000 of the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners. The agency hopes to collect even more this spring by opening the event to longterm care facilities.

“The overwhelming public response to DEA’s first nationwide Take-Back event last fall not only rid homes of potentially harmful prescription drugs, but was an unprecedented opportunity to educate everyone about the growing prescription drug abuse problem,” DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said. “Studies have shown that, for many, prescription drugs are the very first drugs they abuse—and all too often they aren’t the last. That is why we are committed to helping Americans keep their homes safe by ridding their medicine cabinets of expired, unused, and unwanted drugs.”

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high – more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 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.

“I encourage every American to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to safely dispose of unused, un-needed, or expired prescription drugs,” Gil Kerlikowkse, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said. “Preventing these readily available and potentially deadly drugs from being diverted and misused is something each and every one of us can do to help reduce the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is harming so many Americans.”

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