MT. VERNON, Ill. (April 9, 2014) – Rend Lake College is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collect unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26 at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon. The DEA only accepts pills and patches, not liquids, needles, or sharps.
The service is free and anonymous with no question asked. Last year, over 647,000 pounds of prescription drugs were turned into the DEA, totaling more than 3.4 million pounds collected at 4,114 sites since it began Take Back events.
Sustainability Professional Tyson Ellis said this is the second collection RLC has organized with the goal of keeping the environment clean and safe from prescription drug chemicals.
“Rend Lake hosted a prescription drug take back last year on the Ina campus,” he said. “We’re hoping to be able to reach out to more people who need to get rid of their unwanted prescriptions before they cause harm to our environment. RLC is excited to be offering something like this to the public.”
The DEA states the events address a vital public safety and 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 and health hazards.
The DEA is in the process of approving new regulations to implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an ultimate user of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.