Saturday, April 28, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day , which 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 and medications.
A number of agencies, pharmacies, organizations and others across South Carolina are joining the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to give the public its 15th opportunity since 2010 to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The national observance is held twice a year.
Find a location near you by visiting the DEA Diversion website and bring your pills for disposal. You can drop off unused prescription drugs at between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last October, Americans set a record when they turned in a little more than 456 tons (over 912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of prescription drugs.
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—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.