DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years Saturday, April 27, 2013, to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring medications for disposal to the UNH Police Department at 18 Waterworks Road from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or UNH Health Services at 4 Pettee Brook Lane from noon to 4 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds—over a thousand tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses an important 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. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans 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.