The Long Beach Police Department has joined forces with Long Beach Memorial, to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Pharmaceutical Take-Back initiative along with several other law enforcement agencies around the nation.
This initiative seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft through the collection of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The last two events, one held in September of 2010 and the other in April of this year, yielded over 1,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals, collectively.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medications that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to their availability. 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 medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away … both potential safety and health hazards.
Once collected, the unwanted pharmaceuticals will be turned over to the DEA who will safely destroy the drugs. For more information regarding the National Take Back Initiative, visit www.dea.gov or contact the Long Beach Police Department’s Drug Investigations Section at (562) 570-7221.