ROCHESTER - On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Rochester Police Department and the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 16th opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
Anyone can bring their pills for disposal to the Rochester Police Department at 23 Wakefield St. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Last spring Americans turned in nearly 475 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,700 of its state and local law enforcement partners.
Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 10 million pounds - nearly 5,000 tons - 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. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27 Take Back Day event, email Bridging the Gaps at info.BTG@rochesterNH.net, call 603-330-7160, or go to www.DEATakeBack.com to find a drop off site near you.