The Paducah Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a “drug take-back” Saturday morning, April 26 at the main entrance to Kentucky Oaks Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event allows residents from throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. However, the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles, only pills or patches.
The event is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons, or more than 647,000 pounds of prescription drugs at more 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 3.4 million pounds—more than 1,700 tons—of pills.
According to the DEA, 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.
The DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) 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.
Anyone who cannot make it to Kentucky Oaks Mall on Saturday may bring their unwanted medications to a drop box in the lobby of the Paducah Police Department at 1400 Broadway in Paducah.
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