Law enforcement agencies to host drug take-back event |

Law enforcement agencies to host drug take-back event

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

The Craig Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration will accept unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs during an event Saturday.

The medications will be accepted for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot at Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way.

The service is free and no questions will be asked.

In April 2010, Americans turned in 376,593 pounds, or 188 tons, of prescription drugs at nearly 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners.

"This initiative addresses vital public safety and public health issues," the police department reported in a news release. "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 a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, the release reported.

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Also, Americans are now advised that the usual methods of disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first drug take back event in September 2010, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended 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.

The DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the act, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies and the DEA will continue to host prescription drug take back events every few months.

The following items will not be accepted at the Craig event: needles and sharps, mercury thermometers, oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, pressurized containers, and illicit drugs.

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