NORTH CAPE MAY – The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Police Department will conduct their 13th Prescription Drug Take Back Day 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at the Cape May Ferry Terminal, 1200 Lincoln Blvd.
National Take Back Day focuses on removing potentially dangerous drugs from homes and provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceuticals and other medications to law enforcement officers for proper disposal.
According to Colonel Richard Arroyo, Police Administrator for the Authority, the DEA initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue.
“Prescription medicines abandoned inside home medicine cabinets are vulnerable to misuse or abuse,” said Col. Richard Arroyo, administrator for the DRBA Police Department. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are disturbingly high. Working with the DEA, we’re focused on the proper, safe disposal of all types of controlled, non-controlled, and over the counter medications.”
Arroyo said the program is confidential. No questions or requests for identification will be made by law enforcement personnel, he said. Participants will be asked to remove any personal information from bottles or packages. No syringes will be accepted.
More than 500 pounds of medication have been collected at DRBA sites since the bi-state agency began participation in the NTBI in September 2010, according to a press release. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Typical methods for disposing of unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.
According to the 2013 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 6.5 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs daily to get high for the first time.
The public can find the nearest collection sites in their community by logging on to the internet and going to the www.dea.gov website and clicking on the drug disposal icon. After clicking on the icon, you must enter your Zip Code and the database will query the collection sites that have been registered and provide you with the nearest collection site near that Zip Code.