The government is urging federal employees to participate in the National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on Saturday, an annual collection of expired and unwanted prescription medicines.
“We encourage you to join this commitment to improving our public health and safety by participating and inviting others – friends, family, and neighbors – to take part,” says a joint memo from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Personnel Management and the National Drug Control Policy office.
Government data show that 6.1 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2011 and that about 20,000 people a year die from prescription drug overdoses, the memo says. Seven-tenths of people abusing prescription pain relievers “got them through friends or relatives the most recent time they used them, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet,” the memo says.
More than two million pounds of prescription medications have been turned in during the prior five collections, according to the release. Collection sites and times are posted at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.