WASHINGTON – As part of its continuing efforts to reduce drug misuse and overdose, the Drug Enforcement Administration is launching a winter campaign urging the public to “Secure Your Meds.” The current health crisis has magnified the importance of addressing the issue of controlled prescription drug misuse. With Americans spending more time at home due to the pandemic, now is a good opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinets and secure unused medications. This one action can prevent medications from getting into the hands of children and others who may misuse them.

The goal of the Secure Your Meds campaign is to raise awareness of the responsibility to keep prescription and other medications stored securely. Medications that are no longer used or have reached their expiration date should be secured until they can be disposed of in one of the 11,000 authorized, year-round collection sites, or until the nextDEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, when patients can dispose of unused medications properly at a DEA collection sites.

“Why take a chance?” asked Eduardo A. Chávez, DEA Dallas Special Agent in Charge. “Prescription medication falling into the hands of those who want to abuse or even sell them can be met with irreversible, deadly consequences. Secure all of your meds until you can safely and appropriately dispose of them at a permanent drop off location.”Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused and misused prescription drugs are obtained from familyand friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

For more information on authorized collection sites, visit https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1

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