WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of the 10th U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced the locations of the Maine collection sites. Click HERE for locations.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide between 2010 and 2014, a total of 4,823,251 pounds – or 2,411 tons – of unused, unneeded, or expired drugs were collected, according to the DEA.
“Addiction to prescription opioids and heroin has become a tragic epidemic that threatens the health and safety of communities across our state,” the Senators said in a joint statement. “Unused prescription drugs collecting in our homes are serious health and safety hazards, providing unsuspecting gateways to addiction. We are confident that this year Mainers will continue to show that they are more than willing to make the effort to protect their children, their homes, and our environment from the abuse and improper handling of unused prescription drugs,” the Senators continued.
Federal regulations allow pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and other authorized collectors to serve as collection points for unused prescription medication. In 2014, following a consistent bipartisan effort led by Senator Collins and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the Department Of Justice granted the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) the ability to participate in prescription drug take-back programs at DOD and VA facilities. This initiative has helped to address the role of prescription drug abuse in many military and veteran suicides.