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DEA, US Attorney host 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabamians will have an opportunity to turn over unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs with no questions asked.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama and the Drug Enforcement Agency will host the 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Flushing medication, including prescription opioids, down the toilet or throwing them into the typical trash can poses serious potential safe and health risks. The event will give people an opportunity to get those drugs out of their home, where they are subject to abuse or theft, through a safe disposal method.

“Opioid abuse is a leading cause of death in this country,” said U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.  “This drug Take Back day allows us to rid our medicine cabinets of these potentially lethal drugs.  By turning in these potentially lethal drugs to a Take Back location you make your home a safer place for your family and friends.”

According to the CDC, 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.

Alabama was in the top five states that reported opioid death increases from 2014 to 2015. More than 736 people died from opioid overdoses in Alabama in 2015. From 2013 to 2014 alone, the State saw a 20 percent increase in opioid overdose fatalities, according to the CDC.

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Studies show that the majority of abused drugs come from family and friends, often stolen or taken from their home medicine cabinet.

Last year, Alabamians turned over more than 6,200 pounds of prescription drugs across more than 70 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and other state and local law enforcement agencies.

“We hope that this Take Back will be just as successful and will help rid our community of these deadly drugs,” said Bret Hamilton, assistant special agent in charge of DEA.

Over the last 13 drug take-back days, Americans have disposed of more than 8.1 million pounds of pills. During the last even in April, Americans turned in more than 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs.

The disposal service is free and anonymous with no questions asks, although the DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. They can accept only pills or patches.


Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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