unused drugsSaturday come to one of the almost 5,000 collection sites around the nation to return all unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe and anonymous disposal. This is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in the past five years. All states and some territories will be participating Saturday. Mason County has two locations: in front of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at 322 N 3rd Street in Shelton, and at Mason County Fire District #2 at 460 NE Old Belfair Highway in Belfair. These  secure tamper resistant collection boxes are 24-hours a day.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses vital public safety and health issues. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – posing safety and environmental hazards.

“Our goal is to reduce the risk of addiction and the 46,000 overdose deaths a year that come with prescription drug abuse. Take Back Day is a great opportunity for folks to help reduce the threat,” Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said. “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in 4,823,251 pounds—more than 2,411 tons—of pills.