Pueblo police announce "Drug Take Back Day"

Just some of the bags of pills collected to incinerate

Just some of the bags of pills collected to incinerate

Sponsored by Campus Pharmacy and University Police, the drug take-back event is part of a national collection drive led by the Drug Enforcement Agency's overall efforts to remove excess drugs from communities where they could be abused or misused, diverted into the wrong hands or disposed of in environmentally unsafe ways. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

In Hawaii, from September 2010 to October 2017, almost 30,500 pounds of pharmaceuticals were safely collected and disposed of during previous take-back events, according to a press release from the AG's office. Nationally, 456 tons (912,305 pounds) were collected.

The goal is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, said Jean Hammack, the public education coordinator at the Nebraska Regional Poison Center.

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Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations. "The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen", said Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson.

The Department of the Attorney General hopes to double its collection of unused or expired medications at the upcoming Take-Back Initiative.

The public will be given the opportunity to participate in the 15th National Take Back Initiative to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially unsafe, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Swampscott police said.

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The AG's office says having unused or expired medicine in the home increases the risk of accidental poisoning.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else's medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.

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