April 24 to be latest DEA Take-Back Day for unused, expired and unwanted prescription medications, Sarasota Police Department announces

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, persons may dispose of tablets, capsules and patches at Police Department headquarters on Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota

Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

On Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Sarasota Police Department will partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide community residents another opportunity “to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs,” the Police Department has announced.

Residents are encouraged to bring expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs to the Sarasota Police Department Headquarters, which is located at 2099 Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota, a news release says. 

“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” the release points out. Medications in home cabinets “are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” the release adds. Unused or expired prescription medications can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse, the release notes.

“Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold,” the release points out. Further, “[p]rescription drugs that are unused and flushed can contaminate water supplies,” the release continues. “Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.”

Local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations will be observed at collection sites on April 24, the release notes. Sites are designated for the collection of tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs, the release says. “Sites cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.”

“The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked,” the release emphasizes. The April 24 event will be the DEA’s 20th in the United States, it says.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the U.S. “has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during a 12-month time period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in 12 months,” the release points out. “The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin before the COVID-19 health emergency but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic,” the release adds.

During the last Take-Back Day, in October 2020, “the DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs,” the release notes.

“Over the 10 years of Take-Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs,” the release says.