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04/22/2013
Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000

MEMORANDUM FOR CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From:

Elaine Kaplan
Acting Director

R. Gil Kerlikowske
Director, National Drug Control Policy

Michele M. Leonhart
Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration

Subject:
National Prescription Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 27, 2013

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is urging all Federal employees to participate in the National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Individuals wishing to dispose of their medications can find a collection location at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic, with more people dying from unintentional drug overdoses, primarily driven by prescription drug abuse, than in motor vehicle crashes.  Approximately 20,000 people per year are dying from prescription drug overdoses.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 6.1 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2011.  Furthermore, 71 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives the most recent time they used them, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet. For these reasons, proper drug disposal is an important element of the Administration’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan, and is a challenge that each of us can help tackle, starting at home. 

Americans participating in the DEA’s fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29, 2012, turned in an astounding 488,395 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,263 take-back sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  When added to the collections from DEA’s previous four Take-Back events, more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation. 

One of OPM’s top priorities is to ensure the health and well-being of Federal employees.  We encourage you to join this commitment to improving our public health and safety by participating and inviting others – friends, family, and neighbors – to take part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013.


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