Fort Bliss takes back unused prescription drugs

Fort Bliss, US Army
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 4:46pm

Team Bliss Agencies in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration will offer the public its seventh opportunity in three years to rid their homes of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs by simply taking medications for disposal to one of the four locations designated for round-up. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

On Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. William Beaumont Army Medical Center and the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System will be hosting the Prescription Drug Collection site at their main entrances.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Freedom Crossing and the Fort Bliss Commissary will also host the Prescription Drug Collection sites at their entrances.

In April this year, 371 tons of prescription drugs were collected at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA for the event. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

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 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.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.

DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, the ASAP and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.
For more information please call the ASAP at 744-5148/5149.  

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