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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, September 26, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From: 
BETH F. COBERT, ACTING DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
MICHAEL P. BOTTICELLI, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY
CHUCK ROSENBERG, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
Subject: 
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, September 26, 2015

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), urges all Federal employees to participate in the National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on Saturday, September 26, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Due to the Papal visit, the date for all Pennsylvania and Delaware locations has been changed to September 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Individuals wishing to dispose of their medications can find a collection location at: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse and its consequences an epidemic, with more people dying from drug overdoses, primarily driven by prescription drug abuse, than in motor vehicle crashes.  In 2010, 22,134 people died from overdoses involving prescription drugs.  Additionally, in 2012, 69 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers obtained the prescription drugs through friends or relatives, or from raiding the family medicine cabinet.  These statistics indicate the value of proper prescription drug disposal as a key strategy to preventing prescription drug abuse, and this strategy is therefore included in the Administration’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan. 

Americans participating in the DEA’s tenth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 27, 2014, turned in 617,150 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at 5,495 take-back sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  This brought the total amount of drugs collected in four years to 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons. The April 2014 collection was the largest since the establishment of the National Prescription Take-Back initiative.

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 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 September 26, 2015.