This Saturday, unwanted prescription drugs will be accepted for disposal at local collection sites during Take-Back Day, a nationwide event sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA began hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back events in September 2010. Since then, the DEA has sponsored eight take-back days. The strong turnout for those events resulted in the collection of more than 4.1 million pounds (more than 2,100 tons) of medication at more than 6,000 sites manned by law enforcement partners throughout the country, according to the DEA.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse and abuse. Almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse pharmaceutical controlled substances than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Nearly 110 Americans die every day from drug-related overdoses, and about half of those overdoses are related to opioids, a class of drug that includes prescription painkillers and heroin. More than two-thirds of people who misuse prescription painkillers for the first time report obtaining the drugs from friends or relatives, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to the DEA.

Saturday’s Drug Take-Back day will be the last day the DEA is sponsoring such an event. Next month, a federal act will be implemented, expanding disposal services for unwanted medication.

Locally, unwanted prescription drugs can be disposed on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:

Ӣ Biddeford: Biddeford Police Department, 39 Alfred St.; Hannaford parking lot, 299 Elm St.; Biddeford Public Works Recycling Center, 371 Hill St.

Ӣ Buxton: Hannaford parking lot, 24 Portland Road; Rite Aid parking lot, 31 Washington St.

Ӣ Kennebunk: Hannaford, 65 Portland Road.

Ӣ Kennebunkport: Kennebunkport police department, 101 Main St.

”¢ Lyman: Goodwin’s Mills Fire Station, 481 Goodwin’s Mill Road

Ӣ Old Orchard Beach: Old Orchard Beach Police Department, 16 E. Emerson Cummings Boulevard

Ӣ Saco: Saco Community Center, 75 Franklin St.

”¢ Sanford: Sanford Police Department, 935 Main St.; Marden’s Plaza parking lot, 1247 Main St.

”¢ Wells: York Hospital at Wells Urgent Care, 114 Sanford Road

For more information or additional places to drop off unwanted drugs call 1-800-882-9539 or go to www.dea.gov.



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