Drug Enforcement Agency Unwanted Prescription Drug Collection

To: UCSC Community

From: Nader Oweis, UCSC Chief of Police

On October 24 from 10am to 3pm, the UC Santa Cruz Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will give the public its seventh opportunity in three years 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 the UC Santa Cruz Police Department, located across from the Carriage House and the Women's Center, to be placed in a green bin. The disposal bin is available year round when the lobby is open. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

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 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.

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.   

More information can be found at http://www.justice.gov/dea/take-back/images/PDFs/2013b/3A-Handout-English%203.5x8.5in.pdf.