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Montgomery County Participates in Third Annual DEA Nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day | Crime

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Montgomery County Participates in Third Annual DEA Nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Crime, Health
Montgomery County Participates in Third Annual DEA Nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The following information was sent to us by Lucille Baur:

The Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is working with local law enforcement agencies, government, and public health organizations across the country to present its third “Prescription Drug Take Back Day.”  This event is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, from 10:00 a.m. through2:00 p.m.  The initiative, which began in September of 2010, is part of an effort to prevent the increasing problems of pill abuse and theft that occur nationwide.

Seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.  The two previous Drug Take Back Days were held on September 25, 2010 and April 30, 2011.  The DEA’s Department of Diversion Control reported nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in those events, and collected more than 309 tons of pills. 

Police Chief J. Thomas Manger has designated each of the County’s six Police District Stations as DEA Prescription Drug Take Back locations for this year’s Drug Take Back Day.  Each of these locations will accept expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs.  Illicit drugs and needles cannot be accepted as a part of this program.

A collection box will be available for parking lot drop-off if weather permits.  If there is inclement weather the drop-off will take place in the lobby of each station.  The locations are:

  • First District:  1451 Seven Locks Rd., Rockville
  • Second District:  7359 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda
  • Third District:  801 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring  
  • Fourth District:  2300 Randolph Rd., Wheaton
  • Fifth District:  20000 Aircraft Dr., Germantown
  • Sixth District:  45 West Watkins Rd., Gaithersburg

The DEA is particularly interested in medications containing controlled substances, but will accept any prescription medicines brought for disposal.  All sites will take pills of all kinds.  If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; but pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached.  No questions will be asked.  This is an opportunity to safely clean out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed.

The options for safe and legal disposal of old medicines are limited.  It is known that many people simply flush unwanted medications.  Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others have detected pharmaceutical drugs in varying concentrations in our nation’s water supplies, a practice that can contaminate the water supply.  Drug bottle labels and packaging should indicate if the drugs are safely flushable.

According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined.  Almost three-fourths of teen prescription drug abusers get the drugs from family and friends, with the home medicine cabinet being a major source.  It is not advised to simply throw medicines away in the trash where others could potentially find them.

Additional consumer information on the safe and legal disposal of old medicines is available at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.  All the medications returned on Drug Take Back Day will be incinerated by the DEA according to federal and state environmental guidelines.

Crime, Health