SAN JUAN — The DEA is holding its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day tomorrow October 24 at locations across the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.
“The initiative – now in its tenth year – addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea said. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Together with our partners, we are not only
holding National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but offering other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription medications.”
This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“Every Take Back event is significant, on October 2019 over 3,300 pounds were collected in Puerto Rico and the USVIs,” A.J. Collazo, DEA Caribbean Division Special Agent in Charge said. “Due to the pandemic, many physical or emotional illnesses have increased the chances of accumulating prescription drugs in our homes and workplaces. Do not become a dealer without knowing it. Dispose of all medicines this Saturday or contact the FDA and EPA to learn how to dispose of them appropriately
any day of the year.”
The DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms.
“We are so grateful that DEA continues to provide opportunities for Virgin Islanders to dispose of unused prescription drugs,” Gretchen C.F. Shappert, United States Attorney for the Virgin Islands, said. “Removing these drugs from our homes makes our communities safer.”
The DEA wants the public to learn other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.
The DEA will also accept vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices.
If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check
with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal.
Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off.
Prescription Drug Take Back Locations, for Saturday, October 24th:
On St. Croix: Kingshill and Gallows Bay Post Offices, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
On St. Thomas: Sugar Estate Post Office, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find a collection site near you, visit www.deatakeback.com