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O’Fallon police taking back unwanted prescription drugs on October 24

On Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the O’Fallon Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 19th opportunity in ten years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to O’Fallon Justice Center at 1019 Bryan Rd. (Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 442 tons (more than 882,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,200 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

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 United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. 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. 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.

 For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 24th Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

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