This Saturday, September 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and almost 4,000 of its national, tribal, and community law enforcement partners will hold the ninth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  Americans can take their expired, unneeded, or unwanted prescription drugs to one of over 5,200 collection sites across the country between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

When the DEA began hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back events four years ago, the Controlled Substances Act made no legal provision for patients to rid themselves of unwanted controlled substance prescription drugs except to give them to law enforcement; it banned pharmacies and hospitals from accepting them.

Since then, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act has been enacted, authorizing certain DEA registrants to modify their registration with the DEA to become authorized collectors.  This includes manufacturers, distributors, narcotic treatment programs, retail pharmacies, and hospitals/clinics.  These new rules will take effect next month.

The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov or by calling 800-882-9539.  Here in Barnstable County, every town’s police department headquarters has a prescription drug disposal kiosk that is available for use year round.

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