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Office of Inspector General Teams Up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to Take Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Media Contact

October 29, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to:

  • Lincoln Police Department located at 770 7th Street, Lincoln, CA 95648, or
  • Walnut Creek Library, located at1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 188 tons of prescription drugs, including 50,490 lbs in California, at nearly 4,100 sites nationwide, operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to 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 last fall's 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. OIG will continue to partner with DEA on prescription drug take-back events around the country.