Acting/Special Agent in Charge John F. Kanig of the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert on Monday announced the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event will take place on St. Croix and St. Thomas, giving islanders a chance to safely dispose of old prescription drugs.
The drug drop-off will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 on St. Croix at the Gallows Bay and Kingshill Post Offices, and on St. Thomas at the Sugar Estate Post Office.
The news release announcing the event called prescription drug abuse “a serious public safety and public health issue which impacts communities throughout the United States.”
Now in its 11th year, the National Take Back Day events continue to remove opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors including children and teens, the news release said. The DEA’s Take Back events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths while providing an effective way to dispose of prescription drugs without harm to the environment, the release said.
“Too often, unused prescription drugs end up in the wrong hands,” Shappert said. “We are facing a national epidemic of drug abuse, some of which is fueled by outdated and unused prescription medications. DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back is an excellent opportunity for us to eliminate prescription drugs that have outlived their usefulness.”
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications, the news release said.
More information on National Take-Back Day is available by calling 1-800-882-9539 or 571-362-4700, or online at the DEA website.