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Dispose of unwanted prescription drugs on Take Back Day, Saturday

The Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office will again participate in the National Pharmaceutical Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The event, which allows for the safe disposal of unwanted prescription drugs, will take place this Saturday, Oct. 29, in front of the ACSO at 449 San Juan St.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Take Back Day is the third of its kind organized by the DEA, with the first two occurring in the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.

According to the DEA, more than 309 tons of pills were collected on the first two days.

After unwanted drugs are collected at the Take Back Day site, they are securely packaged and held until a pickup or drop-off is arranged with the DEA.

Needles and sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, pressurized canisters and illicit drugs cannot be accepted.

DEA Registrants such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacies, hospitals, researchers, nurse practitioners, etc., cannot use the event to dispose of stocks or samples of controlled substances per the Controlled Substance Act.

Additional collection sites can be found at www.dea.gov.

The DEA is also currently working to develop a process for the public to safely dispose of prescription drugs outside of Take Back Days — the next step following the passage of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act).

Until the process is complete, the DEA has stated it will continue to hold Take Back Days.

According to the 2010 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs.

Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

randi@pagosasun.com

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