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News and Notices

Auburn Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs Sept. 29

On Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Auburn Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Auburn Police Department lobby at 340 E. Main. The service is free, anonymous and no questions asked.

The Auburn Police Department has purchased a secure prescription medication drop box that has been installed in the lobby of the police department since April 2011. Officials want to remind and encourage citizens to utilize this service April 28 and continue to take advantage of the drop box that is available to citizens permanently.

Items acceptable to be placed in the drop box:

  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter medications
  • Medication samples
  • Medications for pets
  • Vitamins
  • Medicated ointments/lotions
  • Inhalers
  • Liquid Medication (in leak proof containers up to 12 oz)

Items NOT accepted:

  • Needles/syringes/lancets
  • Thermometers
  • IV bags
  • Bloody or infectious waste
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Empty Containers
  • Aerosol cans
  • Personal care products (non-medicated shampoo, etc.)

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds—nearly 500 tons—of pills.

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.

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, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Auburn Police and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

For more information about the DEA event and ongoing local take-back options go to: www.takebackyourmeds.org.