Community and the law enforcement representatives will host the 12th edition of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 22.
The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, aims to gather unwanted medicine, and not the additional accessories, including needles, sharps, asthma inhalers or illicit drugs.
The event's first edition was held in 2010, and since then, 6.3 million pounds of expired or unused medications have been collected for proper disposal. The previous event, which took place in May, made 5,400 sites available across the country. The service is free and anonymous for all consumers and medicine owners, and there is a strict no-question-asked policy that accompanies the campaign.
The Drug Enforcement Administration's "Take-Back" program is held under the umbrella of a series of strategies regulated by the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010.
The act aims to reduce prescription abuse and diversion across the United States, along with educating health providers, patients and young people. Medicine prescription is monitored in all 50 U.S. states, and the event represents one of the ways of making the strategies more popular among the people.
The context of these events is that most of the prescription abusers declared in different surveys that the source of their drugs are either friends or family. This makes cleaning out old prescription drugs an important step in combatting the misuse and abuse of the medicines, among which the opioid painkillers account for 20,808 drug overdoses in 2014. Additionally, eight out of 10 heroin users started by using prescription painkillers, and resorted to heroin when the medicines were hard to obtain or to afford.
"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," Chuck Rosenberg said, DEA's acting administrator.
If you cannot take part to these scheduled events, try to dispose your medicine in the following manner: mixing the medicine with dirt, coffee ground or cat litter without crushing the capsules, place the mixture in a sealed container to make sure it will not mingle with the rest of the garbage, and scratch the personal information from the bottles before disposing.
However, some drugs are best flushed down the toilet, because they could harm people and even prove lethal in the smallest of dosages.
For information about collection sites in your area, the DEA's Registration Call Center can be reached at 1-800-882-9539, or go to the DEA website to check the latest updates on the locations for the drug take-back.