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Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

Prescription drug disposal event scheduled April 28

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bedford Against Drugs Community Coalition and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

The event will take place Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the BADCC office, 539 Tate Ave. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Tons of drugs

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds -- 188.5 tons -- of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost one million pounds of prescription drugs.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, officials say. 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.

New approach

Four days after the first 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.

DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcment agencies like the Bedford County Sheriff's Department, the Shelbyville Police Department, the Bedford Against Drugs Community Coalition and the DEA will continue to hold prescription take-back events every few months.