This Saturday, April 29th, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
The drug take back program runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the EPCSO’s Patrol Stations (see below)
Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds. The top five states with the largest collections, in order, were Texas (almost 40 tons); California (32 tons); Wisconsin (31 tons); Illinois (24 tons); and Massachusetts (24 tons)
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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.
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
“These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction. Take-Back events like these raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse.”
Bring your pills for disposal to one of the following Patrol Stations:
Montana Patrol Station – 12501 Montana
Clint Patrol Station – 190 San Elizario
Vinton Station – 435 E. Vinton, Suite D
(The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.