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You can dispose of prescription drugs safely and anonymously on Saturday

Take Back DrugsThe 15th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held across the country on Saturday.

More than 9 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications has been disposed of at 14 previous events over the past eight years, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. The service is free and anonymous.

This weekend more than 5,600 collection sites manned by almost 4,500 partner law enforcement agencies will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public can find a nearby collection site at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539. DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.

“Take Back Day helps to keep drugs out of the hands of abusers and potentially save lives by removing unused painkillers and controlled drugs from homes,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “The more unused painkillers or controlled drugs we can help to remove from homes, the more potential lives will be saved.”

The home medicine cabinet is a frequent target of prescription drug abusers and often provides access to prescription medication, Patterson said.

“We need the help of the public to dispose of this unwanted source of abuse,” he said. “Take Back Day is an effective tool for addressing the opioid crisis in America.”

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that flushing these drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash posed safety and health hazards.

Past Take Back Day events have been successful. Last fall the public turned in 912,000 pounds of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its local and tribal partners.

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