Monday, 30 October 2017 16:31

Task force participates in Drug Take Back Day

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An older prescription bottle was among the items collected locally. An older prescription bottle was among the items collected locally.

Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Alprazolam were among the controlled substances collected Saturday as the City County Drug Task Force participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Members of the local task force set up at Walgreen’s and were there for four hours.

Task force Captain A.M. Harris said collected at Walgreen’s were:

654 dosage units of scheduled drugs

8,711 non-scheduled dosage units

161 liquid medications

70 veterinary dosage units

15 syringes

There were 27 locations in the Eastern District of North Carolina participating, the United States Department of Justice said in a statement.

The event was an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

“With the spiraling drug overdose and death rates facing our country, it is critical that we all do our part to reduce opportunity and temptation which can lead to abuse,” U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. said. “The DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Program is an important opportunity for all of us to play our part in this effort.”

Daniel R. Salter, the special agent in charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “The DEA is committed to making our communities safer by raising public awareness about the dangers of controlled prescription drugs. This is just one of example of how DEA is working hand- in - hand with its law enforcement and community partners in an effort to stem the tide of controlled prescription drugs.”

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 8.1 million pounds of pills.

The Justice Department said 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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.

Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin: Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers.

Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.

This initiative addresses the public safety and public health issues that surround medications languishing in home cabinets, becoming highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

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