COLUMBIA, Tenn. — On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Maury Regional Medical Center and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 17th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
During the take back, community members can bring their unused drugs for disposal to the Maury Regional Medical Office Building at 1222 Trotwood Avenue in Columbia. The service is free and anonymous — no questions asked. Sites cannot take liquids, needles or sharps; only pills or patches will be accepted.
Last fall, Americans turned in approximately 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous take back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds of pills.
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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen 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.
Visit DEATakeBack.com for more information about the Take Back Day event on April 27 and about the safe disposal of prescription drugs.