Sen. Carper Calls on Delawareans to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Delawareans Can Drop Off Expired Prescription Drugs at Collection Sites on Saturday, April 30, 2011
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) encouraged Delawareans to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) second National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30, 2011. The DEA, along with local government, community, public health and law enforcement officials, will be collecting expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal at more than 5,100 sites nationwide. The event, which is free and anonymous, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 29 collection sites in Delaware.
“Prescription drug abuse is a rapidly growing problem in the United States, with more and more teenagers using prescription painkillers to get high each day,” said Sen. Carper. “Help put a stop to this dangerous epidemic by ridding your medicine cabinet of expired, unused medication this Saturday during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.”
The first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was held on Sept. 25, 2010, to provide a venue for persons who wanted to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Americans turned in more than 121 tons of prescription drugs, including 303 pounds at Delaware’s 14 collection sites. This nationwide effort to remove potentially dangerous prescription drugs from medicine cabinets was instrumental in preventing pill abuse and theft.
The National Take Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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. According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. 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.
As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, Sen. Carper has held several hearings and investigations examining the diversion and abuse of controlled substances and other powerful prescription drugs in our nation’s public healthcare system. In 2009, Sen. Carper worked with Gov. Jack Markell to champion the adoption of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Delaware, which was passed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly and signed into law last year.