Prescription drug disposal event to take place Saturday across Arizona

Apr 21, 2021, 4:35 AM
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Federal officials and Arizona law enforcement are teaming up Saturday for the annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event, allowing people to safely dispose of expired and unused medications for proper destruction.

Arizonans can drop off tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs at over 95 designated collection sites throughout the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Collection site locations, hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, can be found online.

Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and illegal drugs will not be accepted. Vaping devices and cartridges can be dropped off if lithium batteries are removed.

Turning in the unused prescriptions ensures that they are not abused as medications found in medicine cabinets often become a gateway to addiction and overdose deaths, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The U.S. has seen an increase in drug overdose deaths over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as more than 87,000 Americans died as a result of an overdose over the period of Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The United States has reached a new record in drug overdose deaths and it is heartbreaking,” Cheri Oz, Phoenix Field Division special agent in charge, said in a press release. “However, everyone can take some simple steps to protect themselves and their loved ones and reduce the threat of drug misuse and overdose in their homes.

“First, talk with your children and loved ones about the dangers of drugs. Kids and young adults don’t always have the facts when it comes to drugs. Parents have a great influence in their children’s decisions to experience with drugs.”

Over a 10-year span of hosting the national Take Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs, according to the release.

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Prescription drug disposal event to take place Saturday across Arizona