Take-Back Program to Combat Drug Abuse
Howard County Police join forces with the DEA to help residents safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
The Howard County Police Department, in concert with police departments across the country, is hosting a program this weekend to help residents safely dispose of expired and unused drugs.
The "Take-Back" campaign will run Sat., Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Residents are encouraged to bring any prescription or over-the-counter drugs to the Northern District Headquarters in Ellicott City or the Southern District Headquarters in Laurel for safe, free, anonymous disposal.
The program, sponsored by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, was instituted to combat what it considers a public safety and public health issue. According to the DEA, prescription drug abuse is on the rise, as is accidental poisoning and overdose. Most people who abuse prescription drugs get them from the medicine cabinets of family and friends, according to the DEA.
And throwing unused medications away, or flushing them down the toilet, can create a health hazard as the drugs enter the soil and water.
"Prescription drug abuse is the Nation's fastest-growing drug problem, and 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," Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske said in a statement. "The Federal/state/and local collaboration represented in this initiative is key in our national efforts to reduce pharmaceutical drug diversion and abuse."
Other organizations involved in the program include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.