Saturday is prescription drug take-back day

DOVER — The Division of Public Health’s Healthy Homes Program is coordinating the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Delawareans can discard their expired and unused medicines at one of 27 designated collection sites statewide. Identification is not required, and no questions will be asked. Collection sites will accept prescription and over-the-counter pills, liquids, and cream medications, and even pet medications. No syringes or inhalers will be accepted.

DPH announced the latest Drug Take-Back Day date at a press event held in the Community Room at Delaware State Police Troop 3 in Camden. DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, talked about the wide availability of collection sites statewide.

“Delawareans in each county will have many options to locate a disposal site near them,” she said. “We greatly appreciate the participation of each of these sites and their partnership in helping us promote safe prescription drug disposal,

“Offering this opportunity can help Delawareans avoid painful addictions, illegal substance use, and tragic overdoses, as well as protect our groundwater from contamination by substances that are often improperly flushed down drains and toilets.”

Properly disposing of expired and unused medicines prevents prescription drug misuse, which can lead to addiction and overdoses of prescription painkillers and other drugs.

According to DPH’s preliminary 2015 data, 198 Delawareans died from accidental and intentional drug poisonings that year, compared to 189 deaths in 2014.

“The National Take-Back Day event offers the public a means to safely dispose of their unwanted or expired medications for free,” said Shawn R. Ellerman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia Field Division and head of the DEA’s operations in Delaware who spoke at the event. “Our medicine cabinets are often the source for prescription opioid medicines that can potentially be abused by our family members and friends.”

Opioids are also a known gateway to abusing illegal substances, particularly heroin. According to DEA statistics, eight out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.

Stricter regulations coming

On Dec. 1, the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation will publish stricter regulations for the safe prescribing of opioid analgesics for both instances of acute pain as well as chronic, long-term conditions involving pain treatment.

The regulations include three major provisions:

• For an acute injury or procedure, a practitioner can prescribe a maximum initial seven-day supply of an opioid medication before additional steps are required.

• Extending the prescription or writing additional prescriptions will require the practitioner to check the patient’s prescription history in the State’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) along with informing the patient of the risks of such things as potential addiction, abuse, misuse, risks of life-threatening respiratory depression and accidental overdose.

• For patients being treated for chronic pain, practitioners will be required to check the State’s PMP and administer a drug screening at least twice a year while receiving chronic treatment with opioid medications. The practitioner must also consider and discuss alternative treatment options with a patient, and conduct a risk assessment to identify patients that are or may be at risk for dependence or misuse of a prescribed opioid.

For more information about the Dover Police ANGEL Program, visit https://doverpolice.org/addiction/, and for more information about the New Castle County Police HERO HELP Program, visit http://www.nccde.org/1266/HERO-HELP-Program.

Drugs for disposal must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag.  Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment, and batteries will not be accepted.  Personal information should be removed from bottles and packages.

More details are available from DPH at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/hhdrugtakeback.html or 744-4546, ext. 5, and from the DEA at www.dea.gov/take-back/takeback-news.shtml.

Businesses such as nursing homes, medical clinics, and pharmacies wishing to dispose of unwanted stock are not permitted to use permanent drop boxes and must follow Federal Regulation 21CFR1307.21 for disposal of unwanted stock.

Take-back sites

The Drug Take-Back Day collection sites in Kent and Sussex counties are:

Kent County

Atlantic Apothecary, 103. S. Dupont Blvd., Suite 2, Smyrna.

Cheswold Police Department, 691 Main St.,  Cheswold

Camden Police Department, 1783 Friends Way, Camden

Delaware State Police Troop 3, 3759 S. State St., Camden

Dover AFB Commissary  268 Galaxy St., Dover AFB

Felton Police Department, 24 East Sewell St., Felton

Heritage at Dover Assisted Living,  1203 Walker Road, Dover

Milford Police Department, 400 N.E. Front St., Milford

Sussex County

Dagsboro Police Department, 33134 Main St., Dagsboro

Delaware State Police Troop 4, 23652 Shortly Road, Georgetown; Delaware State Police Troop 7, 18006 Coastal Hwy., Lewes

Town of Laurel Town Office, 205 Mechanic St., Laurel

City of Lewes Board of Public Works, 129 Schley Ave., Lewes

Milton Police Department, 101 Federal St., Milton

Ocean View Police Department, 201 Central Ave., Ocean View

Beebe Tunnell Cancer Center, 18947 John Jay Williams Hwy, Rehoboth

Rehoboth Beach Police Department, 229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth

CVS Pharmacy, 36252 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville

Selbyville Town Hall, 68 W. Church St., Selbyville

Other permanent collection sites:

Kent County

Dover Police Department, 400 S. Queen St., Dover

Harrington Police Department, 20 Mechanic St., Harrington; and Smyrna Police Department, 325 W. Glenwood Ave., Smyrna

Sussex County

Georgetown Police Department, 335 N. Race St., Georgetown

Greenwood Police Department, 100 W. Market St., Greenwood

Delmar Police Department, 400 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Delmar, Md.

Since 2010, Delaware’s Drug Take-Back events have collected 59,686 pounds of drugs. A new collection record was set on the April 30, 2016 Take-Back Day, when Delaware collected 7,684 pounds of drugs.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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