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           CONCORD – United States Attorney Scott W. Murray encourages the public to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 24, 2020.  This event will be held at collection sites around the country, including many here in New Hampshire.  This event is an important effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

            “One of the simplest ways that all citizens of the Granite State can help to combat the opioid crisis is to ensure that unwanted medications do not fall into the wrong hands,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Far too many individuals started on the path to addiction by misusing prescription drugs.  During the pandemic, individuals spending time at home may be tempted to misuse medication that they find in their medicine cabinets.  I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to dispose of any prescription drugs that they no longer need in order to help protect their families and their communities.”

            “Our take-back events highlight the problems associated to prescription drug abuse and gives our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “These efforts help remove unwanted, expired and unused prescription pills that can be abused, stolen or resold which helps our continued dedication to combat the prescription pill, fentanyl and heroin epidemic of substance abuse and addiction.”

             Rates of 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.

             Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

             Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, members of the public also should be aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.

             In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA-authorized collectors at any time throughout the year. For more information, visit: https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1.

             During the Take Back Day, DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms. DEA will also accept vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices. If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

             For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find a collection site near you, visit www.deatakeback.com.

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