On October 27, 2018, in collaboration the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Mar-Mac Police District collected approximately 30 pounds of unused and unwanted medication during the 16th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at the McGregor Public Library, in McGregor.
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.
Over the past 16 Drug Take-Day events, the DEA and local law enforcement agencies have collected nearly 11 million pounds of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medication. During the October 27th event, more than 900,000 pounds of medication was collected at nearly 6,000 sites across the country.
In Iowa, 88 law enforcement agencies participated in this semiannual event and collected 10,444 pounds of unused and unwanted medication at 128 collection sites. To date, Iowans have turned in 123,575 pounds of unused and unwanted medication.
Last October, Iowans turned in 11,526 pounds of unused and unwanted medications at 108 sites operated by the DEA and 78 Iowa law enforcement agencies. Nationally, a record setting 912,305 pounds (456 tons) of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs were turned in for disposal in 2017.
The 17th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled for April 27, 2019. If anyone missed the recent the Drug Take-Back Day, the Mar-Mac Police District Office, the Clayton County Law Enforcement Center, and your local pharmacy is a year-round collection site.
The Drug Take-Back Day events are a great opportunity for everyone to dispose their unused and unwanted medication safely, anonymously, and free. Additional information on the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and a collection site locator can be found at takebackday.dea.gov.
Robert Millin, Chief of Police
Mar-Mac Police District