'Drug Take-Back' event set for Saturday - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

'Drug Take-Back' event set for Saturday

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) South Carolina District Office and other DEA offices throughout South Carolina, are partnering with national, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, as well as community coalition groups, to hold an eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This one-day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. At the event, South Carolinians will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge, no questions asked.

By doing so, they will help prevent prescription drug abuse and theft. South Carolinians participating in DEA's most recent take-back, held in November, 2013, yielded 5,527.18 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse, and abuse. Almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

More Americans died in 2010 from overdoses of prescription medications (22,134, including 16,651 from narcotic painkillers) than from motor vehicle accidents, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Surveys of users have found that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented, "DEA is collaborating with a multitude of community and law enforcement partners to show our commitment to decrease addiction caused by pharmaceutical drugs. This campaign provides a safe and environmentally sound way for Americans to dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications. Through this collaborative effort, we will eliminate a major source for abused prescription drugs and make our communities safer."

The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the "Got Drugs?" icon, and following the links to a database where they can enter their zip code. Or they can call 1-800-882-9539.

Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites. Liquids and needles will not be collected.

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