On Saturday, April 27, the Sarasota Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 17th opportunity in nine years to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that sit 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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that most misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.
Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills. The Sarasota Police Department also has a permanent drop-box in the lobby at Sarasota Police Headquarters that can be accessed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Bring your expired, unused and unwanted pills for disposal to the lobby of the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane, on April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.