JEFFERSON CITY, MO – On Saturday, October 27, law enforcement agencies across the state will be partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to give Missourians the opportunity to discard expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs. Drop off locations, which will operate from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., can be found here. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
“Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose – that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.”
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services director, Dr. Randall Williams, stresses the importance of this event. “National Drug Take Back Day is a great opportunity for Missourians to clean out their medicine cabinets and discard old or unwanted medicines. It might seem like a small thing but getting rid of these drugs could end up saving a life—especially for teenagers who may not realize the dangers of misusing prescription drugs or combining them with other drugs or alcohol. According to the NCADA, one out of seven MO teenagers reports misusing prescription opioids and one out of three reports knowing where to find them.”
In support of the event, Williams will be visiting three collection sites in the mid-Missouri area on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27. On Friday, Williams will join University of Missouri-Columbia students at the event in the MU Student Center. On Saturday, Williams will visit the drop off location in Ashland at their police department and visit the drop off location at Hickman High School in Columbia.
Last April Americans turned in 949,046 pounds (474.5 tons) of prescription drugs. Missourians turned in 43,575 pounds at 225 collection sites around the state.
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 misuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the numbers 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 other 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 go to the DEA Diversion website.