Escondido Police to Participate in National Take Back Day

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04/27/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lt. C. Wynn, 760-839-4700

The Escondido Police Department, in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will be serving as a collection site for the National Take Back Day. The Escondido Police Department, community, public health and law enforcement partners will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction in the Escondido Police Department public parking lot on Saturday, April 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The police department is located at 1163 North Centre City Parkway in Escondido. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Persons wanting to dispose of unused prescription medication will be able to stop in the parking lot of the police station and turn unwanted medications over to law enforcement personnel. No identification will be required to turn in medications and no questions will be asked about how the medication was obtained. The goal of the initiative is to remove unwanted or unused medications from residences to prevent them from being abused.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, 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. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

Last September, Americans turned in over 242,000 pounds—121 tons—of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by more than 3,000 of the DEAs state and local law enforcement partners. Also last fall, Congress passed the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow users of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.

"The National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign will provide a safe way for Americans to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs," said Michele M. Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. "This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse. Working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way."

"I encourage every American to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to safely dispose of unused, un-needed, or expired prescription drugs," said Gil Kerlikowkse, Director of National Drug Control Policy. "Preventing these readily available and potentially deadly drugs from being diverted and misused is something each and every one of us can do to help reduce the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is harming so many Americans."

Any questions regarding the Escondido Police Department’s involvement in the National Take Back Day can be directed to Sgt. Greg Ellis at 760-839-4759.

To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org.

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