Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Key West Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public the opportunity 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 the Key West Police Department, 1604 North Roosevelt Blvd. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last fall Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of pills.

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 U.S. 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, flushing old prescription meds down the toilet or throwing them in the trash poses potential safety and health hazards.