FAIRBANKS, Alaska This Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), local law enforcement and community partners will collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at 19 collection sites throughout Alaska.
The service is free of charge, no questions asked. Fairbanks Deputy Chief Dan Welborn spoke about the event.
“It’s our national drug take back day, we do that in partnership with the DEA the Drug Enforcement Administration. They are going to be here at the Fairbanks Police with us from 10 to 2 on Saturday the 27-th. We will also have locations at Fred Myer East as well as Costco,” said Welborn.
Last October, residents of Alaska turned in 3,977 pounds (2 tons) of prescription medications.
“So people can drop off their prescription medications anything that is expired, unused, anything that you might thing may be stolen or just like I said misused I would like to encourage you to bring that to us,” he said.
“Take Back Day is a unique opportunity for Alaskans to protect their homes and medicine cabinets from theft and abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Schroder. “Our country is in the midst of an opioid crisis, and all too often the abuse begins with prescription drugs. Getting old and unneeded prescriptions out of the home can help prevent addictions from starting.”
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States continue to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Because the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration have advised the public that flushing their prescription drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards, DEA launched its prescription drug take back program to encourage the safe disposal of medications.
“Things that we don’t normally want is anything like sharps, needles, we don’t really advertise that we want your illegal drugs like marijuana or cocaine, but we will take those as items as well,” said Welborn.
Now in its ninth year, DEA has collected a total of nearly 11 million pounds (more than 5,400 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications through its Take Back Day events. This weekend, approximately 6,000 collection sites manned by nearly 5,000 partner law enforcement agencies will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
Welborn wanted those to know that they cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps at drop off sites.
It is just a safe way to give that back to us and then we can dispose of it in a proper manner that is being responsible and helps out everybody.
“We take reports every day from people that not only report stolen medication but they are used illegally. So anytime we can get those drugs off the streets and residents are bringing them to us, that’s going to help us from a law enforcement perspective but it also helps the community as well,” said Welborn. “We have a med-safe here at the Fairbanks Police Department that’s available 24/7. You can bring that down to us again we ask that you don’t bring like sharps and things like that.”
For more information or to locate a collection site near you, go to www.DEATakeBack.com where you can search by zip code, city, or state.