Governor and First Lady DeSantis, along with Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), join the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and law enforcement partners across the state to promote this year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27.
First Lady Casey DeSantis said, “We must do everything in our power to fight back against the opioid crisis that is impacting families across the state of Florida. As Chair of the Children and Youth Cabinet, I am particularly concerned about how our kids are affected by the opioid crisis. We know that children often get their hands on prescription drugs in the home medicine cabinet. Governor DeSantis and I urge all Floridians to participate in Drug Take-Back Day and safely dispose of unused and expired prescription drugs to ensure that they stay out of the wrong hands and away from our children.”
In an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft, nine years ago DEA kicked off the Take Back initiative by asking citizens to take potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs out of their home and appropriately dispose of them.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am encouraging Floridians to join us in our fight to end the opioid crisis by participating in Drug Take Back Day. The event gives people the opportunity to dispose of expired and unused medications in a safe, responsible manner. Additionally, it helps keep opioid-based painkillers and other prescription drugs out of the wrong hands, helping prevent addiction and overdose deaths.”
When prescribed medications are kept in home cabinets, they become 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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.
“Prescription drug abuse affects individuals and families across all socioeconomic, ethnic, age, gender, and regional demographics,” said DCF Secretary Chad Poppell. “Combating the opioid crisis is at the top of the Governor’s priority list and it is important that we take advantage of every opportunity to raise awareness and take proactive steps to help save lives.”
Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills.
To find a nearby collection site, go to DEATakeBack.com or call 800-882-9539.