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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: October 18, 2016


DOVER, DE (October 18, 2016) - National studies show that almost two-thirds of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, including by raiding medicine cabinets, purses, and drawers. To improve safety in our homes and communities, the Division of Public Health's (DPH) Healthy Homes Program is coordinating the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Delawareans can discard their expired and unused medicines at one of 27 designated collection sites statewide. Identification is not required, and no questions will be asked. Collection sites will accept prescription and over-the-counter pills, liquids, and cream medications, and even pet medications. No syringes or inhalers will be accepted.

DPH announced the latest Drug Take-Back Day date at a press event held in the Community Room at Delaware State Police Troop 3 in Camden, Del. DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, talked about the wide availability of collection sites statewide.

"Delawareans in each county will have many options to locate a disposal site near them. We greatly appreciate the participation of each of these sites and their partnership in helping us promote safe prescription drug disposal," said Dr. Rattay. "Offering this opportunity can help Delawareans avoid painful addictions, illegal substance use, and tragic overdoses, as well as protect our groundwater from contamination by substances that are often improperly flushed down drains and toilets."

Properly disposing of expired and unused medicines prevents prescription drug misuse, which can lead to addiction and overdoses of prescription painkillers and other drugs. According to DPH’s preliminary 2015 data, 198 Delawareans died from accidental and intentional drug poisonings that year, compared to 189 deaths in 2014.

"The National Take-Back Day event offers the public a means to safely dispose of their unwanted or expired medications for free," said Shawn R. Ellerman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division and head of the DEA's operations in Delaware who spoke at the event. "Our medicine cabinets are often the source for prescription opioid medicines that can potentially be abused by our family members and friends."

Opioids are also a known gateway to abusing illegal substances, particularly heroin. According to DEA statistics, eight out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.

That's one reason that on Dec. 1, 2016, the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation will publish stricter regulations for the safe prescribing of opioid analgesics for both instances of acute pain as well as chronic, long-term conditions involving pain treatment. David Mangler, director for the Division of Professional Regulation, discussed the proposed regulations.

"The Prescription Monitoring Program has played a key role in combatting the illegal use and misuse of prescription controlled drugs in Delaware, and cooperation has always been at the heart of the effort," said Director Mangler. "We know that the updates we’re incorporating into the program, in addition to the teamwork we’re doing with other agencies and law enforcement, will help us continue to gain ground."

The regulations include three major provisions:

The regulations are the result of months of research and work by the Secretary of State’s Controlled Substance Advisory Committee and will apply to any Delaware licensed practitioner also licensed to prescribe controlled substances. These include physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, podiatrists, and dentists.

Dr. Betsy Jones, chapter leader for the Kent County Chapter of advocacy group atTAcK addiction, shared her personal experience with the impact that addiction has on not only the person in active use, but also the person’s family. atTAcK addiction is a grassroots organization comprised largely of parents, family members and loved ones of individuals who suffer from, and in many cases have died from, the disease of addiction.

"Opioid addiction is destroying families and taking lives across the United States. But it isn't just a national issue – it's very much a Delaware issue – and it's reached epidemic proportions. We are committed to spreading a message of awareness and prevention, and more importantly, eliminating the stigma of addiction, so that individuals and families who are suffering can open up, ask for and receive the help they need to conquer this often, deadly, disease."

Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf talked about the agency's efforts to support those seeking help for addiction as well as innovative diversion programs by partners such as the New Castle County Police Department's HERO HELP program and the Dover Police Department's recently announced ANGEL Program. Under the diversion program in Dover, any person who enters the police station and requests help with their addiction to opiates will be immediately screened for entry into the program. In New Castle County, if you are about to be arrested for a minor crime, instead of being arrested and incarcerated, you can choose to enter into treatment.

"People who are struggling with addiction need to know that treatment works and people do recover," said Secretary Landgraf. "To reduce the toll that the addiction epidemic is having on our state we have added to our treatment capacity, are increasing awareness about prevention, and working with medical and law enforcement officials to reduce the diversion of prescription medications."

Persons seeking help for drug addiction can visit www.Helpisherede.com to connect with treatment services and learn about the warning signs of addiction. For more information about the Dover Police ANGEL Program, visit doverpolice.org/addiction/ ,and for more information about the New Castle County Police HERO HELP Program, visit www.nccde.org/1266/HERO-HELP-Program.

The Delaware Prescription Action Committee (PDAC), chaired by Dr. Rattay and Dr. John Goodill, has recommended and is working, to implement a comprehensive approach to preventing, controlling and treating this epidemic. Public and provider education are key components of these efforts. DPH and the PDAC Provider Education Subcommittee are preparing materials about opioids and the new prescriber regulations, for late November. PDAC also recommended establishing secure, permanent drop boxes, and 14 now exist at local police departments, and town hall offices.

Drugs for disposal must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment, and batteries will not be accepted. Personal information should be removed from bottles and packages. More details are available from DPH at www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/hhdrugtakeback.html or 302-744-4546, ext. 5, and from the DEA at www.dea.gov/take-back/takeback-news.shtml.

Businesses such as nursing homes, medical clinics, and pharmacies wishing to dispose of unwanted stock are not permitted to use permanent drop boxes and must follow Federal Regulation 21CFR1307.21 for disposal of unwanted stock. The Drug Take-Back Day collection sites, operating on Oct. 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. are:

New Castle County

Permanent collection Site Collection Site Name Address City ZIP
Delaware City Police Department 407 Clinton St. Delaware City 19706
Delaware State Police Troop 2 100 La Grange Ave. Newark 19702
X Newark Police Department 220 South Main St. Newark 19711
Christiana Care Surgical Center 4755 Ogletown Stanton Road. Newark 19718
New Castle County Airport 151 N. Dupont Hwy. New Castle 19720
X New Castle County Police Department Sweeney Public Safety Building, 3601 N. DuPont Hwy. New Castle 19720
Wilmington VA Medical Center 1601 Kirkwood Hwy. Wilmington 19805
Shipley Manor Nursing Home 2723 Shipley Road. Wilmington 19810

Kent County

Permanent collection Site Collection Site Name Address City ZIP
Atlantic Apothecary 103. S. Dupont Blvd., Suite 2. Smyrna 19977
Cheswold Police Department 691 Main St. Cheswold 19904
X Camden Police Department 1783 Friends Way. Camden 19934
Delaware State Police Troop 3 3759 S. State St. Camden 19934
Dover AFB Commissary 268 Galaxy St. Dover AFB 19902
X Felton Police Department 24 East Sewell St. Felton 19943
Heritage at Dover Assisted Living 1203 Walker Road . Dover 19904
Milford Police Department 400 N.E. Front St. Milford 19963

Sussex County

Permanent collection Site Collection Site Name Address City ZIP
Dagsboro Police Department 33134 Main St. Dagsboro 19939
Delaware State Police Troop 4 23652 Shortly Road. Georgetown 19947
Delaware State Police Troop 7 18006 Coastal Hwy. Lewes 19958
X Town of Laurel Town Office 205 Mechanic St. Laurel 19956
City of Lewes Board of Public Works 129 Schley Ave. Lewes 19958
Milton Police Department 101 Federal St. Milton 19968
X Ocean View Police Department 201 Central Ave. Ocean View 19970
Beebe Tunnell Cancer Center 18947 John Jay Williams Hwy. Rehoboth 19971
Rehoboth Beach Police Department 229 Rehoboth Ave. Rehoboth 19971
CVS Pharmacy 36252 Lighthouse Road Selbyville 19975
X Selbyville Town Hall 68 W. Church St. Selbyville 19975

Other permanent collection sites:

New Castle County
Wilmington Police Department - 300 N. Walnut St., Wilmington, DE 19801

Kent County

Sussex County

Since 2010, Delaware's Drug Take-Back events have collected 59,686 pounds of drugs. A new collection record was set on the April 30, 2016 Take-Back Day, when Delaware collected 7,684 pounds of drugs.

Delaware's Drug Take-Back Day totals

Event Date #Pounds
May 14, 2010 1,680 lbs.
September 25, 2010 . 303 lbs.
April 30, 2011 . 4,395 lbs.
October 29, 2011 . 4,465 lbs.
April 28, 2012. 6,808 lbs.
September 29, 2012 . 4,561 lbs.
April 27, 2013. 6,122 lbs.
October 26, 2013 . 5,258 lbs.
April 26, 2014 .6,476 lbs.
September 27, 2014. 4,707 lbs.
September 12, 2015. 7,227 lbs.
April 30, 2016. 7,684 lbs.
TOTAL COLLECTED 59,686 lbs .

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.

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. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

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.