President Trump has declared a national emergency over a wave of opiod-related deaths in the United States, and Southland residents have an easy way to dump their dangerous drugs Saturday as part of a federal “Drug Take-Back Day.”
A drumbeat of concern over the misuse of painkillers and other opiods has focused attention on the danger, and officials say more than 140 Americans die each day in drug overdoses that could have been prevented.
Trump Thursday declared a National Public Health Emergency.
Southland residents can get rid of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs Saturday by dropping them off at designated collection sites during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., drop-off sites will be open throughout the region, operated by police departments and other agencies. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov.
During previous Drug Take-Back events, Los Angeles-area residents have turned in thousands of pounds of medicines. During an event last year, more than 893,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected nationally, DEA officials said.
During a take-back event in April, law enforcement agencies in the seven- county Southern California region colleged 30,985 pounds of medications.
According to the DEA, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion and abuse.
The agency noted that rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high — with 6.4 million Americans age 12 or over abusing medications. That’s more than the number of people abusing cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to the DEA.
—Staff and wire reports
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