Drugs ‘Take Back’ day is April 28

Published 4:11 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Bogalusa Police Department, the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nielsen’s Pharmacy, located at 1619 S. Columbia St.

The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only expired prescription drugs, unwanted prescription drugs, over-the-counter, controlled and non-controlled substances. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. A BPD representative will be on hand.

Last October, Bogalusa collected 80 pounds of outdated prescriptions, and on the national scene, Americans turned in 324 tons (over 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds—more than 1,700 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue in Bogalusa. 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. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, people 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.

DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.