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Time to purge your medicine cabinets; Get rid of unused meds, DEA says

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

Drug Take-Back Day set for Oct. 23

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands will be participating in the 21st National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a bi-annual event initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prevent drug poisoning and curb abuse of prescription drugs susceptible to diversion.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at five locations on Guam: Agana Shopping Center, Andersen Air Force Base, Dededo Mayor's Office, Merizo Mayor's Office and Navy Exchange.

In the CNMI, the drop-off points will be the Saipan Saipan Commonwealth Health Center (Outpatient Pharmacy), Rota Health Center and Tinian Health Center.

U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson, for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, said the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic—drug overdoses are up 30 percent over the last year alone and taking more than 250 lives every day.

The majority of opioid addictions in America start with prescription pills found in medicine cabinets at home, he said.

This National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

In April 2021, citizens of Guam and the NMI turned in over 1,565 pounds collectively.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that last year more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year.

Opioid-related deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2020.

DEA will also collect vape pens or e-cigarette devices.

The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs that languish in homes.

DEA cited the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which indicated that 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019.

"The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet," DEA said.

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