DEA’s Take Back Day collects 8.5 tons of prescription drugs in Washington

DEA’s Take Back Day collects 8.5 tons of prescription drugs in Washington

According to a news release from the Drug Enforcement Agency, a record number of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications were collected at nearly 6,000 sites across the nation on this year’s Drug Take Back Day on April 28th.

The DEA collected and destroyed close to one million pounds–almost 475 tons–of prescription drugs, making it the most successful event in DEA history.

Here are the results from states here in the Pacific Northwest:

·Washington – 76 collection sites, 17,018 pounds (8.5 tons) removed from circulation.
·Idaho – 37 collection sites, 4,282 (2.0 tons) removed from circulation.
·Oregon – 60 collection sites,14,614 pounds (7.3 tons) removed from circulation.

“The take-back events continue to be highly successful and continue to rally the citizens of the Pacific Northwest into the fight against opioid abuse,” said DEA Special Agent Keith Weis.

According to the DEA:

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, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

The DEA launched its take back program several years ago when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised that usual methods for disposal of unused medicines–flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash–posed potential safety and health hazards.

Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at here.

The DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 27, 2018.