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DEA'S Prescription Drug Take Back Day Huge Success with Over 17 Tons Collected in the Pacific Northwest - 11/07/17

Residents of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska turned in 35,058 pounds (17.5 tons) of prescription medications on October 28, 2017. The following are the results broken down by state:

Washington -- 71 collection sites which resulted in 15,473 pounds (7.7 tons) removed from circulation.

Idaho -- 30 collection sites which resulted in 5,640 (2.8 tons) removed from circulation. This is a record collection for
Idaho.

Oregon -- 56 collection sites which resulted in 10,210 pounds (5.1 tons) removed from circulation.

Alaska -- 18 collection sites which resulted in 3,735 pounds (1.9 tons) removed from circulation.

DEA Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis was extremely pleased with the collection results adding, "The fight is on and our communities have jumped into the ring with both feet in this effort to reduce prescription drug abuse."

Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners a record-setting 912,305 pounds--456 tons--of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at more than 5,300 collection sites. That is almost six tons more than was collected at last spring's event. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons.

Now in its 8th year, this event continues to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation's homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis.

This year, DEA worked with its tribal law enforcement partners to set up 115 collection sites on tribal lands. Opioid addiction impacts Native American communities just as it does all parts of American society. By partnering with FBI, BIA, and tribal law enforcement, the DEA was able to greatly expand tribal participation in the Take Back program. DEA remains committed to supporting public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines--flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash--posed potential safety and health hazards.

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications.

DEA's next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.

DEA and local law enforcement partners take back unwanted prescription drugs at 172 sites in the Pacific Northwest - 10/25/17

SEATTLE -- This Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and its local law enforcement, community and tribal partners will give the public its 14th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

The public can dispose of their unused and unwanted prescription medications at one of 172 collection sites in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), operated by 148 local law enforcement agencies and other community partners. The public can locate nearby collection sites at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539. Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites--liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, residents of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska turned in 35,137 pounds (17.6 tons) of prescription medications. This was the highest collection to date for the Pacific Northwest. The following are the results broken down by state:

· Washington - 15,148 pounds (7.6 tons) removed from circulation.

· Idaho -- 3,746 (1.9 tons) removed from circulation.

· Oregon -- 12,120 pounds (6.1 tons) removed from circulation. This was a record collection number for Oregon.

· Alaska -- 4,123 pounds (2.1 tons) removed from circulation.


"Disposing of leftover painkillers or other addictive medicines in the house is one of the best ways to prevent a member of your family from becoming a victim of the opioid epidemic," said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. "More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opioid epidemic, which has led to the largest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen."

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. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines--flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash--posed potential safety and health hazards.