DEA Drug Take-Back April 28, 2012
Posted: April 11, 2012
Why dispose of unwanted medications through Take-Back programs?
Among the societal reasons are accidental poisoning by children who think brightly colored pills are candy and an increasing problem with prescription drug abuse. Unused or expired medications in medicine cabinets increase the supply of dangerous drugs. Avoiding the tragedy of either death or addiction is well worth a trip to a Take-Back center.
Proper disposal protects the environment. Small but measurable levels of different drugs and personal health care products are being detected in both our surface and ground waters. We are seeing abnormalities in fish and amphibians like imbalanced gender ratios, intersex fish, poor hatching success, abnormal behavior, and decreased fertility and growth. In humans, we are concerned about developing antibiotic resistant bacteria as well as potential problems with endocrine disruption, fetal development and as yet unobserved impacts to health and safety. There is research needed to assess all these concerns and determine if there is a problem and at what levels we need be to take action. For more information visit the USGS Emerging Contaminants in the Environment site.
Proper pharmaceutical disposal requires incineration of the drugs at very high temperatures in equipment equipped with special air scrubbers to remove air pollutants. Law enforcement officers must be present when controlled substances are returned, so these Take-Back events are a wonderful opportunity to easily dispose of unwanted medicines. The FDA has disposal recommendations for both prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines.
“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “DEA remains hard at work to establish just such a drug disposal process, and will continue to offer take-back opportunities until the proper regulations are in place.”
There are hundreds of PA police departments and other locations participating – To find a collection site near you in PA, please click here.