DHEC Observes 10th Anniversary of National 'Drug Take Back Day' - Oct. 24
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 21, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. ̶ It’s that time of year again – time to responsibly dispose of expired medications. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages residents to drop off unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs at participating locations across the state in honor of the 10th anniversary of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct. 24.
This nationwide event is hosted biannually by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and provides a responsible way for the public to dispose of prescription drugs that might otherwise be stolen or abused or fall into the wrong hands.
This national campaign is fully endorsed by DHEC.
“Prescription drug misuse continues to be a major public health problem in the United States, specifically prescription pain relievers. To prevent misuse of prescription medications, one important action individuals can take is to dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired medications to limit the possibility of illegal use,” said Lisa Thomson, Director of DHEC’s Bureau of Drug Control. “DHEC supports the DEA Drug Take Back program because it provides a safe and convenient opportunity for disposing of prescription drugs.”
Medications in pill or patch form can be dropped off from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at participating locations around the state. Visit the year-round collection site locator or contact the DEA by phone at 202-307-1000 to find the nearest drop-off site. Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.
Last year at this time, approximately 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. Since the program’s inception in 2010, the DEA and its partner organizations have collected approximately 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications.
DEA officials call this initiative an important measure for addressing a vital public safety and public health issue, as rates of prescription drug abuse nationwide are increasing. The number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs is also on the rise in recent years.