The national event was created by the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration as a way to “provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.”
At the last Drug Take Back Initiative in May, 893,498 pounds, or about 447 tons, of medication was disposed of at participating police departments throughout the country.
Statistics show that the majority of prescription drug abusers get their substances from friends and family. Also, eight out of 10 new heroin users begin by abusing prescription painkillers, then move on to heroin when they can no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.
After more citizens than ever participated in the program in May, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg stated, “These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft.”
He went on, “Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction. Take-back events like these offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse.”