Drug take-back scheduled this Saturday
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 — From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Oct. 26 the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration 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 Walgreens Pharmacy on Main Street in Susanville. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Both pills and liquid prescriptions will be collected.
Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon briefly addressed the issue during a Tuesday, Oct. 22 meeting of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.
He said, “It’s just an opportunity for us to get prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets and destroy them properly. We don’t want people flushing them down their toilets and contaminating water systems …”
Throwing medications in the trash can also pose potential safety and health hazards.
After the collection, personnel from the sheriff’s office meets with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Reno and the medication is taken and incinerated.
Collection days are held every six months and Growdon said participation has increased since the take-back events have began.
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 a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
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.
Drug Enforcement Administration 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 Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.
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