Prescription drug take-back sites planned statewide

The Department of the Attorney General once again is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration and State Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety to coordinate prescription take-back events this month, including two collection sites on the Big Island.

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The Department of the Attorney General once again is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration and State Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety to coordinate prescription take-back events this month, including two collection sites on the Big Island.

As part of the National Take-Back Initiative, anyone with expired or unused prescription medications is encouraged to bring them from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 26 to the Ka Waena Lapa‘au Medical Complex, 670 Ponahawai St. in Hilo, or the Hawaii Police Department Kona Police Station parking lot, 74-0611 Hale Makai Place, Kailua-Kona.

This service is free and anonymous — no questions asked. Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms of medication will be accepted. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.

“This is a great opportunity for those who have missed the previous events or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs to safely dispose of those medications,” said Attorney General Douglas Chin. “Prescriptions expire and collect on people’s shelves over time and simply throwing drugs in the trash may be risky. The take-back initiative promotes safe disposal.”

According to the DEA, many people are not aware that medicines languishing in home cabinets are susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the rates of accidental poisoning and overdose because of these drugs.

Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. In addition, many people do not know how to properly dispose of unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away — both potential safety and health hazards.

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Since 2010, 2,411 tons of drugs were collected in take-back events nationwide. Hawaii has collected 16,778 pounds of drugs.

For more information, visit www.dea.gov or www.ag.hawaii.gov.

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