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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: April 24, 2013


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:

"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:

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.