URBANDALE, IA. — Prevent prescription pharmaceutical abuse and theft by disposing of expired and unneeded medications this month at the Urbandale Police Department. This fall marks the 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Division. Urbandale has participated in each previous event.
Area residents may bring unwanted prescription pills to the front lobby of the Urbandale Police Department, 3740 86th St., from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 28 for disposal. The service is free and anonymous.
In April Americans turned in 450 tons, or 900,000 pounds, of prescription drugs at almost 5,500
sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 state and local law enforcement partners.
Overall, in 13 previous prescription collection events, the program has taken in more than 8.1 million pounds — more than 4,050 tons — of pills.
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This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, Urbandale police said in a news release. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Taking the drugs out of the hands of someone they were not prescribed for helps combat an alarmingly high rate of prescription drug abuse and can reduce the number of accidental poisonings or overdoses.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, or taken from a home’s medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans typically dispose of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, and both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The DEA can only accept pills or patches as part of the program. Ways to safely and properly dispose of liquid medications, needles or sharps are available on the DEA’s website.
Photo: Brett Hondow, via Pixabay
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Originally published Oct 4, 2017.