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Police, hospital, DEA provide venue to dispose of unwanted prescriptions

August 27, 2012
Estherville Daily News

On Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Estherville Police Department, Avera Holy Family Hospital and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to Avera Holy Family Hospital and Medical Clinic Entrance in the North Parking lot for disposal. You can also bring them to the Estherville Police Department prior to that date. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds-276 tons-of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. The Estherville site gathered 49.75 pounds. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds, nearly 775 tons of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital 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 high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of used prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods of disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-pose both potential safety and health hazards.

Federal regulations allow an "ultimate user" of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the attorney general to accept them. Additionally, long term care facilities are authorized to dispose of their residents' controlled substances also.

Any questions should be directed to Eric Milburn, Chief of Police, Estherville Police Department at 712-362-3515, or Kristi Hough at, or 712-362-6176.



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