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Local Police Dept.’s take back unwanted Rx

Local Police Dept.’s take back unwanted Rx

Many households may have unused or expired drugs in their medicine cabinet. These drugs may become a safety hazard placing children, teenagers and other members of your household at risk of an overdose.

There are many reasons to safely dispose of unused medicines:

• Medicines may lose their effectiveness after they have expired, and this can be dangerous to your health if you have certain medical conditions

• The recommendations may have changed on some of your over-the-counter and prescription medicines (For example, it is no longer recommended that children under four years of age take cough or cold medicines)

• Leftover medicine can become a safety hazard to children, teenagers or other members of your household who do not understand the dangers of taking medicine not prescribed for them

• Some prescription medicines such as painkillers can be removed from your home without your knowledge and contribute to your community’s drug abuse problem

You should inventory your medicines. Check expiration dates and remove all unlabeled containers, expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines and any leftover prescription drugs. It is important that medicine is disposed of in a safe manner.

That’s why local law enforcement agencies are ready to take your unwanted prescription drugs. Now through Saturday, Oct. 26, Tulare County residents can drop unused and expired medications as part of the National Drug Take Back Day. The following agencies will accept prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, pet medications and vitamins at the following times and locations:

• Exeter Police Department: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 23-25, 100 N. C St. in Exeter.

• Farmersville Police Department: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 23-25, 909 W. Visalia Road in Farmersville.

• Lindsay Department of Public Safety: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 23-25, 185 N. Gale Hill in Lindsay.

• Woodlake Police Department: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 23-25, 350 N. Valencia Blvd. in Woodlake.

Hospitals, pharmacies, doctor’s offices and veterinarians are not allowed to drop off their medications for the National Drug Take Back Day.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) Sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this past April collected 50 percent more pills than the previous one, demonstrating the American public’s continued appreciation and need for the opportunity to discard unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers.

On April 27, 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications were collected from members of the public at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event.  When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.   That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

The DEA’s Take-Back events are a significant piece of the White House’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy released in 2011 by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Disposal of unwanted, unused or expired drugs is one of four strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion laid out in Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis.  The other strategies include education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth; enhancing and encouraging the establishment of prescription drug monitoring programs in all the states; and increased enforcement to address doctor shopping and pill mills.

Shortly after DEA’s first Take-Back Day event two-and-a-half years ago, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow the DEA to develop permanent, ongoing, and responsible methods for disposing of controlled-substance medications.  Prior to the passage of the above-cited Act, the CSA provided no legal means for transferring possession of controlled substance medications from users to other individuals for disposal. On Dec. 21, 2012, DEA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Disposal of Controlled Substances that seeks to implement the above-cited Act.

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