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National Prescription Take-Back Day, April 28, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Other Stakeholders
From: 
John Berry, Director, Office of Personnel Management
R. GIL KERLIKOWSKE, Director, National Drug Control Policy
MICHELE M. LEONHART, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
Subject: 
National Prescription Take-Back Day, April 28, 2012

In 2011, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), urged all Federal employees to participate in the National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day to benefit our country’s public health, public safety, and environment.   The DEA has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day for Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

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 car crashes.  Proper drug disposal is an important element of the Administration’s prescription drug abuse prevention plan as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that approximately 70% of the prescription drugs misused or abused are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.   

Americans that participated in the DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 29, 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the three prior Take-Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 995,185 pounds (498.5 tons) of medication from circulation in the past 18 months. Individuals wishing to dispose of their medications can find a collection location at http://www.justice.gov/dea/.

Each Federal employee makes a positive difference in the lives of Americans, and a top priority of OPM is the health and well-being of the Federal family. We encourage you to carry forth this commitment to improving our public health and safety by participating in and inviting others – friends, family, and neighbors – to take part in the National Take-Back Day on April 28.