Tricounty News

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Oct. 26

Sheriff Jeff Norlin would like to announce that the Meeker Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, on October 26, 2013, from 10:00 a.m-2:00 p.m. The Take-Back boxes will be located at the Meeker County Law Enforcement Center 326 N. Ramsey Ave., Litchfield, MN 55355 and the Dassel City Hall 460 3rd St., Dassel, MN 55325. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed that more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

The DEA’s Take-Back events are a significant piece of the White House’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy released in 2011 by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Disposal of the unwanted, unused or expired drugs is one of four strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion laid out in Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. The other strategies include education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth; enhancing and encouraging the establishment of prescription drug monitoring programs in all the states; and increased enforcement to address doctor shopping and pill mills.

Shortly after DEA’s first Take-Back Day event three years ago, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amended the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), allowing DEA to develop permanent, ongoing and responsible methods for disposal. Prior to the passage of the Disposal Act, the CSA provided no legal means for transferring possession of controlled substance medications from users to other individuals for disposal. DEA is currently in the process of drafting regulations, but until then the DEA and local agencies will continue to hold Take-Back Days.