On September 29, 2012, the Sandy Springs Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public the opportunity to discard unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs. Between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., residents in Sandy Springs can bring medications for disposal to the Sandy Springs Police Headquarters located at 7840 Roswell Road, Building 301, in the Morgan Falls Office Park. The collections drive is part of the annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, each day approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. Studies also show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
The DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in September, 2010 and again in April, 2011. Nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills.
Four days after the first Take-Back Day, Congress passed legislation amending the Controlled Substances Act to allow the DEA to develop a process for people to safely dispose of their prescription drugs. The Controlled Substance Act allows for 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. The DEA is currently drafting regulations to implement under the Act. Until the new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every six months.
Last year, more than 80 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in at Sandy Springs Headquarters. More information on Take Back Day can be found at deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.
Originally Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012