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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: October 19, 2011


Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will help the public properly dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medication on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 29. Delawareans can bring medications for disposal to any of the 28 collection sites throughout the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous-no questions asked.

According to the DEA, 3,398 pounds of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications were collected in Delaware at the last event, held April 30. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public health and safety issue. Flushing medicines down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety, environmental and health hazards. Traces of medical hormones, antidepressants, antibiotics and other drugs have been detected in Delaware's drinking water. In addition, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse.

"I urge Delawareans to look in their medicine cabinets and take any unused medications to one of these drop-off sites," said Governor Jack Markell. "We can do our part to keep drugs out of the hands of those who might abuse them and help our environment by properly disposing of drugs we don't need."

More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs in the U.S., according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a collaborative effort between DPH's Office of Healthy Environments and 41 partners statewide including the Governor's Office, DNREC's Environmental Crimes Unit, Delaware State Police, Delaware Attorney General's Office, Delaware Department of Justice Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Office of Controlled Substances and other municipalities, law enforcement agencies and community groups. The collection sites in Delaware are listed below, or go to and click on "Got Drugs?" or call 1-800-882-9539.

New Castle County

Kent County

Sussex County

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.