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Drug take-back set for Saturday across state

This year’s event—the 20th DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back—has collection sites throughout Alabama scheduled to be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The program is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to combat the abuse or misuse of potentially dangerous medicines that have expired or are no longer needed for those whom these controlled substances were prescribed. Law enforcement officers will be present at sites throughout Alabama to receive unused prescription drugs for safe and proper disposal.

Since the first Take Back event in Alabama, in September of 2010, the amount of drugs collected continues to increase. Throughout all of Alabama’s previous DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back events, a total of about 96,317 pounds of unwanted, unused or expired drugs have been removed and disposed of safely.

“For many years Prescription Drug Take Back has served a valuable public service to protect our children, homes and environment, and now it is more vital than ever. We have seen a troubling rise in drug overdoses, a situation that has been worsened this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic with many people isolated and suffering from anxiety and with substance abuse subsequently on the rise,” said Attorney General Marshall.

“As a long-time prosecutor, I have too often witnessed the tragic results caused by the availability of dangerous controlled substances. When prescription drugs are left in our homes, children and teenagers may be poisoned or fall prey to drug abuse and addiction. Your old medications can also be a lure to criminals looking for drugs to sell. On Saturday, April 24, please take the opportunity to safely remove these hazards by bringing prescription drugs that are out-of-date or no longer needed to collection sites for safe and proper disposal.”

Law enforcement agencies and interested community partners such as pharmacies, schools and civic groups are working together to provide as many local sites as possible throughout Alabama.

Deliveries of drugs to DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events are confidential, with no personal information collected and no questions asked.  Participants are encouraged to remove labels or black-out information beforehand.

Prescription drugs pose dangers to children and others who may take them by accident or who may use them for abusive purposes. Expired drugs may have lost their effectiveness and therefore no longer be a safe and adequate treatment for the conditions for which they were prescribed.  In addition to concerns of potential poisoning, abuse or overdose, it also is important environmentally that medicines be disposed of in a proper manner rather than simply being thrown into garbage, flushed away or poured down drains, as they could contaminate water supplies and cause an environmental hazard.

People who wish to participate should inquire with their local law enforcement agencies, or may check the DEA website for a nearby location. A listing of sites may be found through a search at www.DEATakeBack.com.  If you do not find your area listed on the DEA website, please check with your local law enforcement officials to see if they may be participating in a Take Back event.