VAIL -The Vail Police Department is participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday. The collection takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Vail Municipal Building parking lot, 75 South Frontage Road. This is an opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinets of all unwanted, expired or unused medications and have them disposed of safely. Getting rid of unused medications helps prevent accidental and intentional misuse of these items while safe disposal protects water sources by keeping drugs out of wastewater and the landfill. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.The collected items will be incinerated in an environmentally-friendly manner by the Drug Enforcement Administration which spearheads the national effort. Locally, the DEA's National Take Back Initiative is being coordinated by the Safe Drug Disposal Program, which is a partnership among the Vail Police Department, Eagle County Sheriff's Office, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, Eagle County and Vail Valley Medical Center.If you can't make it to Vail, there will be collection sites at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards and Costco in Gypsum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Items that can be dropped off include vitamins, supplements, medicated ointments/lotions, over-the-counter and prescription medications, including controlled substances. Please, no needles (sharps) or pressurized canisters.During the last national collection event in September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds of pills. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - both pose potential safety and health hazards.Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an "ultimate user" of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents' controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like The Vail Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.For more information, contact Sergeant Justin Dill with the Vail Police Department at 970-477-3409.
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