Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Indianapolis Participates in First Nationwide DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its first national prescription-drug "Take-Back" initiative, and several drop-off locations are located in and near Indianapolis.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on that day, participating sites will collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, which will be properly disposed of. The service is free and anonymous; no questions will be asked.

Area Take-Back drop-off sites include:

* St. Monica Catholic Church, 6131 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis

* Capital City Baptist Church, 1002 W. Edgewood Ave., Indianapolis

* Indiana State Police Post, 8620 E. 21st St., Indianapolis

* Beech Grove Police Department, 340 E. Churchman Ave., Beech Grove

* Cumberland Police Department, 11501 E. Washington St., Cumberland

* Pittsboro United Methodist Church, 227 E. Main St., Pittsboro

Medications for both human and veterinary purposes will be accepted. Some facilities might have the ability to accommodate injectable drugs; call ahead for more information. Those bringing prescription drugs are asked to remove any personal information from bottles and other containers. All prescription containers will be burned along with the medications they contain.

"We are aggressively reaching out to individuals to encourage them to rid their households of unused prescription drugs that pose a safety hazard and can contribute to prescription-drug abuse," said the nation's acting deputy attorney general Gary G. Grindler.

According to the director of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, prescription-drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States, with a corresponding increase in the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to such drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many people do not know how to properly dispose of unused medication. Flushing drugs down the toilet or simply tossing them in the trash both present potential health and safety hazards.

In Indiana, a 2009 report from the Indiana University Center for Health Policy found that 7.6 percent of Hoosiers reported abusing prescription drugs in the past year, higher than the national rate of 6.2 percent. And a national study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released this year showed a 400 percent increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for prescription pain relievers between 1998 and 2008.

"Take-back events like this one are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health," Kerlikowske said.

For more information on the Indianapolis-area Take-Back program, contact Dennis Wichern, DEA assistant special agent in charge, at 317-226-7981.

For more information on prescription-drug abuse or general information on local issues involving alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Drug Free Marion County at 317-254-2815 or visit

Drug Free Marion County -- a not-for-profit organization -- plans, promotes, implements and coordinates community efforts to prevent and reduce the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among youth and adults.

No comments: