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Delaware Health and Social Services

DHSS Press Release

Date: April 24, 2013

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498


Dover, Delaware - The Lt. Governor joined the Department of Health and Social Services, Department of State, Medical Society of Delaware, and the DEA in Dover yesterday to announce the bi-annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27,2013 and the state's policy and program recommendations for combating prescription drug abuse.

The spring 2013 prescription Drug Take-Back Day sponsored by the Division of Public Health (DPH) and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is planned for Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Delaware. The event gives the public the opportunity to safely and anonymously dispose of unused medications, prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

"On Saturday, we ask Delawareans to help prevent illness, crime and pollution by properly disposing of their expired, unused and unwanted medications. Visit any statewide collection site to drop off unneeded prescription and over-the-counter pills, liquids and cream medications in their containers," said Rita Landgraf, DHSS Cabinet Secretary. "Collection sites will even accept pet medications. No questions will be asked since this is a free and anonymous drug disposal service. Please help us protect your family, your community, and the environment by disposing of old or unused drugs."

To develop a larger term solution to the prescription drug problem, the State's policy and program recommendations for combating prescription drug abuse were developed by the Prescription Drug Action Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Karyl Rattay, Division of Public Health Director (OPH) and Dr. Randeep Kahlon, immediate past President of the Medical Society of Delaware. PDAC is a broad and diverse group that includes physicians, community-based organizations, behavioral health partners, hospital systems, pain management specialists, law enforcement, the Attorney General's Office, the Department of Homeland Security, Medicaid, pharmaceutical representatives, medical professional regulators, retail pharmacy representation, the Delaware Nursing Association and patient advocacy entities, as well as public and private payers.

"In our state we face the problem that poisonings are now killing more Delawareans than car crashes. The challenge with prescription drugs is to balance the very real need for legitimate prescription pain medication with the necessity of preventing their misuse and abuse. Grim statistics, and many all too familiar personal stories, tell of people who have lost their lives or ability to function to prescription drugs," said Lt. Governor Matthew Denn. "Many people think that such drugs are automatically safe because they are prescribed by a medical professional; they think these drugs can be safely given to others or even stolen without the significant consequences caused by illegal drugs. This belief is false and we must do more." For children, medications are the most common and deadly poisons. Persons under the influence of unauthorized prescription drugs commit crimes, cause accidents, and put law-abiding citizens in harm's way. In addition to being illegal, using unauthorized drugs can cause irreversible medical damage to our brains, heart, liver and other organs. Addiction, injuries, suicides and accidental deaths can occur when people abuse prescription drugs.

"The Prescription Drug Action Committee took a larger systems approach to combating prescription drug abuse," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. "We must look at the problem from a medical, societal and sociological perspective. These recommendations are just the first step in addressing the larger problem."

The PDAC recommendations ( TakeBackday.pdf) fell into two categories; policy and programs:
Policy Recommendations:

  • Require all prescribers with a controlled substance registration and pharmacists to complete 2 hours of continuing education training. Two hours of prescriber training will focus on safe and effective prescribing methods. For Pharmacists, training will focus on recognizing patient abuse seeking behaviors.
  • Require controlled substance prescribers to take a one hour, one time only CME on Delaware specific prescription drug abuse and pain management topics to include: the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), Delaware Regulation 31 and other state specific programs and policies.
  • Standardize continuing education of law enforcement regarding controlled substance related abuse and impairment.
  • Require hospice agencies to implement a uniform procedure to dispose of controlled substances after a patient passes away.
  • Require practitioners with controlled substance licenses to register for access to the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).
  • Enable provider authorized support staff to delegate access to the PMP via their own log-in identification and password.
  • Require substance abuse treatment centers to use the PMP to evaluate patient risk of abuse.
  • Require pharmacists to obtain a Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) patient profile when there is a suspicion of abuse seeking behaviors.
  • Eliminate the 72 hour exemption for reporting dispensing of controlled substances to the PMP.
  • Program Recommendation:

  • Launch a statewide public education and outreach campaign based upon the successful school nurse partnership.
  • Ensure that chronic pain patients have safe and consistent access to care and support provider education by increasing access to pain management and substance abuse experts.
  • Integrate multiple data sources to develop a robust surveillance system. Implement Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances.
  • Implement long term drug take-back solution; federal guidance expected late 2013.
  • Implement a pilot program for BLS to use Narcan.

"Prescription drugs have become a leading cause of accidental death in Delaware, and are abused more than any other drugs." said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. "The recommendations announced today present an important and necessary set of prevention, policy and enforcement tools with which we can continue to combat this epidemic."

Since the first statewide Drug Take-Back event was held in May 2010, the seven Take-Back Days have removed a total of 22,212 pounds of medicines from circulation in Delaware.

Anyone can bring medications for disposal to 25 collection sites statewide. To find a collection site near you, visit: or call 1-800-882-9539. Prescription and over-the-counter pills, liquids, and cream medications will all be accepted - even pet medication. Injectables and aerosols are not included in the program, and will not be accepted. Collection is both free and anonymous. No questions or requests for identification will be made. Personal information should be removed from bottles and packages.

The medications will be collected in specially marked barrels or boxes, and then safely destroyed. The collection sites available on Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. are:

    New Castle County:

  • Brandywine Towne Center, Wilmington
  • Christiana Care Health System - Medical Arts Pavilion II, Newark
  • Delaware City Police Department, Delaware City
  • Delaware City Admin. Bldg., Delaware City
  • New Castle Co. Police Department Headquarters, New Castle
  • New Castle Airport, New Castle
  • Middletown Police Station, Middletown
  • Shipley Manor Nursing Home, Wilmington
  • University of Delaware Public Safety Bldg., Newark

    Kent County:

  • Atlantic Apothecary, Smyrna
  • Camden Municipal Bldg., Camden
  • Delaware State University, Dover
  • Dover Police Department, Dover
  • Felton Police Department, Felton
  • Harrington Police Department, Harrington
  • Heritage at Dover, Dover

    Sussex County:

  • Bridgeville Fire Department, Bridgeville
  • Dagsboro Police Department, Dagsboro
  • Georgetown Police Department, Georgetown
  • Greenwood Police Department/Town Hall, Greenwood
  • Laurel Police Department, Laurel
  • Lewes Ferry Terminal, Lewes
  • Milford Police Department, Milford
  • Milton Police Department, Milton
  • Rehoboth Beach Police Department, Rehoboth
  • Tunnel Cancer Center, Rehoboth
  • Nanticoke Mears Health Campus, Seaford

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Last Updated: Wednesday April 24 2013
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