SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Sept. 21, 2012) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, has scheduled a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sept. 29, here, and at other locations on Oahu and around the state.

Officials said this is a great opportunity for those who missed previous events or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted or unused prescription drugs to safely dispose of those medications.

"Pharmacies are not permitted by law to take back any medication or prescription drugs at their counters," said Brent Oto, instructor, Army Substance Abuse Program, here.

"If these meds are dumped in the landfill, rain or storms have been known to wash these meds into the oceans or onto the shores of beaches," Oto said, adding, "unfortunately, we have (also) seen people who dumpster-dive for drugs in the trash."

According to the DEA, the most-recent National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, held April 28, was an overwhelming success, as citizens turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (or 276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Locally, Oto said more than 2,000 pounds of medications were collected statewide during the April initiative.

To date, the DEA and its state, local and tribal law enforcement and community partners have removed more than 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation.

"We are pleased at the response of the American people once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse," said Michele Leonhart, administrator, DEA, in a news release.

Leonhart said 4,268 agencies participated with DEA nationwide in April's take-back event, including all branches of military service, as well as local substance abuse programs.

Among those involved in Hawaii are the state Narcotics Enforcement Division, Army Department of Defense Police, Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter Provost Marshal offices, and Tripler and Schofield pharmacies.

"These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our state, federal, local and tribal partners, and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people," Leonhart said.

"While a uniform system for prescription drug disposal is being finalized, we will continue to sponsor these important take-back opportunities as a service to our communities," Leonhart continued. "Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution."

RX Drop-off Locations on Oahu
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sept. 29, at various sites on Oahu. Bring all unwanted, unused or expired medications in a sealed plastic bag for safe, anonymous disposal to any of these locations:

--Schofield Barracks PX, main lobby, near flower shop.
--Navy Exchange, main lobby, near escalator.
--Marine Corps Exchange, in front.
--Kapolei Police Station, parking lot.
--Mililani Town Center, bandstand area.
--Windward Mall, center court area.
--State of Hawaii State Capitol.

The service is also offered at the following neighbor island locations:
--Big Island of Hawaii's National Guard Aviation Facility, the Hawaii County Police Department or the Kona Police Station (parking lot).
•Maui County Police Department (parking lot).
•Kauai Police Department (parking lot).

Page last updated Fri September 21st, 2012 at 22:01