DEA to host take back program in Albert Lea

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Albert Lea Police Department, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement  Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent prescription drug abuse by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions.   

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the DEA will accept prescriptions medications at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. Medication will be accepted in the pill and patch form. Liquids and needles or sharps cannot be accepted.

According to a press release, during the month of April Americans turned in 450 tons of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous take back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds of pills.

Email newsletter signup

The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

According to a press release, rates or 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 of disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing the in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.