SMPD To Hold Take Back Event Sept. 29 For Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 2:02:00 AM

Mirror Staff

The Santa Monica Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to the front of the Santa Monica Police Department at 333 Olympic Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 29.

An officer will be available at the curb to make it easier for you to just drive up and drop off your unused or unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free, anonymous and no questions will be asked.

During the previous four take-back events, more than 774 tons of medications were collected nationwide, of which more than 58 thousand pounds were collected in the greater Los Angeles area alone.

The success of these events has been due to the partnership of the state and local law enforcement, community organizations and the public.

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.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first Take-Back event in September 2010, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends 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.

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 like Santa Monica and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

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