EDWARDSVILLE –The official Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Takeback Day is set for April 28 and the region will participate.

On April 28 local law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medications. Residents are asked to bring unwanted/unused medications for disposal to participating locations.

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The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, iodine-containing medications, mercury-containing thermometers, or oxygen tanks. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

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Last October, Americans turned in 456 tons (over 912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 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 over 4.8 million pounds — more than 2,400 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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 a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety, health and environmental hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control site https://takebackday.dea.gov/. In addition, most Madison County law enforcement agencies have on-site, year-round drop boxes available for public use.

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