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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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DEA and Local Police Departments Take Expired Prescription Drugs to Stem Illegal Use

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If you’re like other Americans, your medicine cabinet might be filled with bottles of unused and potentially expired prescription drugs. Unfortunately, having old prescription medications in your cabinet invites pill abuse and theft. In fact, according to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (pdf), six million people abused prescription drugs in 2008. As a result, prescription drug abuse treatment increased by 400% between 1999 and 2008. Overall, prescription drugs are the second leading drug category abused in the U.S. after Marijuana.

At a recent summit on prescription drug abuse, the Centers for Disease Control called prescription drug abuse an "epidemic". However, some police departments in Michigan and across the nation are trying to stem the problem by accepting old medications at their precincts. For example, the Rochester Police Department is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to take back unwanted drugs on October 29.

Since most research shows that a majority of abused drugs are taken from friends’ and family members’ medicine cabinets, people have to worry about anyone using their bathrooms who might take drugs. By ridding your medicine cabinet of unused, unwanted, or expired medications you can help to relieve your worries. Dropoffs are free, anonymous and no questions are asked–just google for dropoff locations, dates, and times.