TakeBack: safely collect unused meds & properly dispose of them - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

TakeBack: safely collect unused meds & properly dispose of them

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What's in your medicine cabinet? If you're holding onto unused prescription medications, there's a chance they could end up in the wrong hands.

You could be a drug dealer and not even know it. "We're concerned that children can get into parents' medicine cabinets and abuse the medications or other people who abuse prescription medication might get a hold of them and not use them for what they're intended to be used for," said David Stubbs. As a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, he's calling on the community to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for April 29.

He said, "The purpose of the event is to collect prescription medication and take them and dispose of them properly. We're encouraging the public not to flush the medication in the toilet or throw it in the garbage can where it can get into the landfill and get into groundwater."

The biannual collection is part of an effort to combat a growing epidemic nationally. "Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug abuse in the US right now," Stubbs continued. "We're not going to say that Guam is any different from any place else, so that is why we want to take these prescription medications off the street because a lot of the drugs like oxycodone. Schedule II narcotics are a gateway drug; a lot of people who use those usually transition into heroin."

This year marks the 7th year in the row the DEA is holding the biannual collection drive here in Guam and the CNMI. The collections are held once in April and another in October. Last October, approximately 270 pounds of unused drugs were collected in our region. "We're seeing consistent participation from the people of Guam and the people of the CNMI, with regards to turning over prescription medication. We vary between 200 pounds and 400 pounds each prescription drug TakeBack event," he said.

"The items that we will be collecting are tablets, capsules and any other prescription medication in solid form. We will not be able to collect any liquids or intravenous solutions or any illegal drugs."

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is set for Saturday April 29. Collections will be held at three locations: Agana Shopping Center across Vitamin World, Andersen Air Force Base Main Exchange, and Naval Base Exchange Food Court from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All drugs collected will be destroyed by the DEA. For more information, visit DEA.gov.

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