While the DEA and local police precincts often hold “take-back” events allowing the public to turn in unused or expired prescription drugs, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) feels that the federal government needs to revise its policies under the federal Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act (2010) to make it easier for people to do so by allowing pharmacies to take them back, as well as fund buyback programs.
In fact, the state legislature in New York is already waiting to pass a bill to allow pharmacies to take back medicine, pending a change in the DEA’s rules.
“These unused and potentially dangerous pills are just sitting in people’s homes where they pose lethal temptations to teens, as well as burglars targeting the family medicine cabinet.”
In fact, local police on Long Island noted that 92 deaths in Nassau County and 177 in Suffolk County were directly linked to prescription painkillers such as Oxycodone and Vicodin in 2011 alone.
“It should be as easy to turn the medications back in as it is to get them,” agrees Jeffrey Reynolds of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
In addition, Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Bob Donahue stated that “allowing drug stores to take back medicines would absolutely strengthen the efforts to make communities and individuals safer.”
Note: Since April of this year, the DEA has collected 740,000 pounds of medication at more than 5,000 sites across the nation.