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Riverton police hosting drug take-back day

Sep 28, 2012 - From staff reports

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

The Riverton Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity Saturday to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding local homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, residents are invited to bring medications for disposal to Riverton City Hall, 816 N. Federal Blvd. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds, or 276 tons, of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. During its four previous take-back events, the DEA and its partners took in more than 1.5 million pounds, nearly 775 tons, of pills.

Officials said the drug take-back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, as 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, officials say, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of 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 --¬pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first take-back event, 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 is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the RPD and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

For more information call 856-4891.

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