"Take Back Day helps to keep drugs out of the hands of abusers and potentially saves lives by removing unused painkillers and controlled drugs from homes", DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson said in a statement.
"Every one of these locations has a permanent locked box on site so you don't have to wait for the Take Back Day", said Debbie Owens, executive director of Seminole Prevention Coalition.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says taking your medicine to a Take Back location ensures those chemicals don't go into the earth. Over the course of the program, the DEA has gathered up over nine million pounds of drugs.
While such efforts should mitigate overprescribing in Taos County, the county's overdose death rate, in part driven by prescription pill abuse, still exceeds national and state averages. "In 2016 alone, 4,600 Pennsylvanians died from drug-related overdoses".
Many cases of heroin and fentanyl addiction start with prescriptions found at home, Kenney notes. Additionally, national studies show that nearly two-thirds of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, including by raiding medicine cabinets, purses and drawers.
Patterson's argument underscores the value of disposal.
The DEA's Diversion Control Division aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way for people to dispose of prescription drugs.
But Leitzinger notes some drugs can not be dropped off.
"Many people are unsure on how to properly dispose of the medications so they flush them down the toilet or throw them in the garbage". Drop-offs will be accepted from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. "That's why I urge all Ohioans to clean out their medicine cabinets and participate in this year's Drug Take Back event".