The Rockville Centre Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration on Saturday will give residents the opportunity to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Medications can be brought to Rockville Centre Police headquarters, at 34 Maple Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous.
Last April, Americans turned in excess of 742,000 pounds of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners, according to a press release. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds of pills.
The DEA and RVCPD release says that “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.”
Most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to the agencies. The 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.
The 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 pet or their family member or 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.