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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prescription drug take-back event set for Saturday

  • The Saline County Sheriff's Department and the Egyptian Health Department have partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide the public with another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
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  • The Saline County Sheriff's Department and the Egyptian Health Department have partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide the public with another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
    Medications can be brought to the Saline County Courthouse between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday for safe, proper disposal. The service is free and anonymous.
    According to a release by the DEA, last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous take-back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.
    Lizz Cooley of Egyptian Health said 58 pounds of prescription pills were collected at the last take-back event held in Saline County.
    This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, according to the release.
    Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to the release. 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 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 Sheriff's Department and Egyptian Health, along with the DEA, will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

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