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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
September 28, 2012 Posted by

This post appears couresty of Attorney General  Eric Holder.

Got Drugs?

Tomorrow marks the DEA’s fifth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.   In conjunction with United States Attorneys’ Offices across the country, DEA personnel have set up hundreds of collection sites where citizens can turn in their unneeded prescription medications – at no cost, and with no questions asked.

Already, this program has allowed us to collect over 1.5 million pounds of prescription drugs.

Find a Take-Back site near you. 

In recent years, we’ve seen that prescription drug abuse constitutes one of the greatest public safety and public health epidemics of our time, inflicting devastating, long-term, effects on individuals – and destroying families, neighborhoods, and entire communities – all across the country.  Studies have shown that more than 52 million Americans have abused prescription drugs at least once during their lifetimes; that every day 7,000 people begin misusing prescription drugs for the first time; and that, in 2008 alone, prescription drug abuse claimed over 20,000 lives nationwide. 

As a former judge, United States Attorney, and Deputy Attorney General, I’ve seen the terrible cost of prescription drug abuse.  Today, as Attorney General, I’m committed to ensuring that addressing its causes and consequences is – and will remain – among the Justice Department’s top priorities.  And I’m proud to report that – over the last three and a half years – this commitment had led us to take bold, coordinated action to protect the American people.

In concert with a range of key federal, state, local, and tribal authorities and partner organizations, the department has begun working to implement effective education, treatment, enforcement, and policy solutions.  Through initiatives like our Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs – and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squads – we’re gaining a better understanding of this problem and we’re moving more swiftly – and more efficiently – than ever before to intervene in the lives of those who are at risk.  

Our efforts have been informed, augmented, and strengthened by the work of leading researchers and law enforcement officials who serve on the front lines of this fight – and who have repeatedly shown that, when it comes to preventing, reducing, and combating prescription drug abuse, we stand to benefit from a variety of perspectives and approaches.

Even more importantly, they’ve demonstrated that every individual has an essential role to play in this work.  Recent surveys indicate that more than half of those who admit to abusing prescription painkillers said that they got drugs “from a friend or relative for free”– not from their own doctor.   This illustrates the critical importance of getting old, unused, or expired drugs out of household medicine cabinets.  And it’s why the DEA has begun the Take-Back campaign.   

During the DEA’s last take-back day in April, more than 4,200 state and local law enforcement partners collected a record-breaking 552,161 pounds of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

With the help of citizens across the country, we are poised to build on these extraordinary results.  By cleaning out their medicine cabinets, the American people can help to clean up their communities.  We can stand together against crime.  And we can ensure that all of our neighbors – especially our young people – have the opportunity to live in drug-free communities and to lead safe, healthy lives.

 Find a Take-Back site near you. 

Saturday, October 29th: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
October 28, 2011 Posted by

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is partnering with national, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, as well as community coalition groups to hold a third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This one-day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.

On Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, Americans will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the country free of charge, no questions asked. By doing so, they will be helping prevent drug abuse and theft.

Find a collection site near you.

Americans participating in DEA’s two previous National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events turned in more than 309 tons of pills at more than 5,300 sites manned by over 3,800 federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, creating a public health crisis. The rate of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. today is at an alarmingly high level—two-and-a-half times more people currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined, according to the recently released 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The same study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart:

“We all have another unique opportunity to contribute to the fight against prescription drug abuse by participating in the third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event. Americans overwhelmingly responded to the first two national Take-Back Day events, and we hope the October 29th event is no different.  With everyone’s support, we can reduce the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, while increasing the awareness of this important public health issue.”

Find a collection site near you.

For more information on the National Take-Back Day events, visit dea.gov.

Project Coronado – By the Numbers
October 22, 2009 Posted by

Over the past two days, 303 individuals in 19 states were arrested as part of Project Coronado – a 44-month multi-agency law enforcement investigation, which targeted the distribution network of a major Mexican drug trafficking organization known as La Familia, through coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement. 

More than 3,000 agents and officers operated across the United States to make the arrests during the two-day takedown.  During the two-day operation alone, $3.4 million in U.S. currency, 729 pounds of methamphetamine, 62 kilograms of cocaine, 967 pounds of marijuana, 144 weapons and 109 vehicles were seized by law enforcement agents. Below, a look at Project Coronado, and the overall numbers of this 44-month operation.

Project Coronado – By the Numbers

1, 186: Number of Total arrests.
1,999: Kilograms of Cocaine Seized
2,710: Pounds of Methamphetamine Seized
29: Pounds of Heroin Seized
16,390: Pounds of Marijuana Seized
$32,795,000: U.S. Currency Seized
269: Number of Vehicles Seized
389: Number of Weapons Seized
2: Number of Maritime Vessels Seized

The Attorney General announced the current results of Project Coronado at a press conference held this morning. He was joined by DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson.

Read the full news release.

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