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Rx for Action

A blog devoted to helping people find local medicine take-back programs and highlighting current research findings and pending legislation.


Fifth DEA take-back event brings in another 244 tons of unwanted medication...but more work remains

On September 29, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsored the 5th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. State, local, and tribal law enforcement partners worked at more than 5,260 locations around the country and collected 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of prescription and over-the-counter medications. In Illinois residents brought in over 21,000 pounds of unwanted medicines for proper disposal and Indiana followed closely with 18,560 pounds collected. In total, the five DEA Take-Back events have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of unwanted medicine.

Shortly after DEA's first Take-Back Day event two years ago, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This allowed the DEA the authority to develop new regulations regarding permanent, ongoing and responsible methods for medicine disposal. For two years the DEA has been in the process of drafting regulations that would make medicine collection easier for communities, but no funding for collection programs was established, and the new regulations have yet to be released.

The DEA has stated that they will continue to hold the Take-Back Days until they issue the new regulations. After that, it will fall again solely to communities to support collection efforts. Fortunately in the Great Lakes states, much work has been done to set up permanent medicine collection programs that residents can access year-round. Examples include the National Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program (P2D2) and the Yellow Jug Old Drugs Program. And many communities and counties have set up similar programs for their residents.

Click here to see if your community offers a program. If not, contact IISG to see how a new program might be established in your hometown.

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Posted by Laura Kammin at 4:38PM on 10/25/2012
Categories: Collection Programs In the News Single-day Events