To help prevent pill abuse, the Turlock Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a “Pill Take Back Day” on April 27.
By reducing the supply of potentially dangerous, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, the chances of pill abuse reduce significantly.
“By participating, members of this community will not only rid their homes of unused and potentially harmful medication – they are also helping reduce the chances of it ending in the wrong hands which can lead to accidental poisonings and overdoses by adults and children,” said Officer Mayra Lewis, spokesperson for the Turlock Police Department.
Whenever prescription drugs sit in home cabinets, the risk of diversion, misuse and abuse heightens. With the exceptionally high rate of prescription drug abuse across the United States, thousands of deaths occur each year due to overdoses and accidental poisonings.
According to the Turlock Police Department, the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Instead of flushing unused medicine down the toilet or throwing it in the trash, all citizens are advised to properly dispose of old prescription pills to avoid potential safety and health hazards.
The Turlock Police Department has held five Take Back events over the course of three years. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
In September, Americans across the nation turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement partners. Over the past five national Take Back events, the Drug Enforcement Administration and participating local law enforcement offices have taken in more than 2 million pounds of prescription pills.
After the first national Take Back event, the U.S. Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 amending the Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substances to dispose of them by taking the unused medication to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.
The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 also allows the Attorney General to authorize long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. The Drug Enforcement Administration is currently drafting regulations to implement the Act.
Since the new regulations are not in place as of yet, local law enforcement agencies, including the Turlock Police Department will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration to continue holding Take Back events multiple times throughout the year.
“Flushing medication down the toilet or simply throwing it away is no longer acceptable and can be hazardous,” said Lewis. “This initiative was established solely to benefit the community by giving them a safe disposal site, no questions asked. Why not take advantage of it?”
The Pill Take Back event in Turlock will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the Turlock Police Department, located at 900 N. Palm Street.