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This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

In an effort to address this problem, DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted the first ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, September 25, 2010. The purpose of this National Take Back Day was to provide a venue for persons who wanted to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. This effort was a huge success in removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs, particularly controlled substances, from our nation’s medicine cabinets. There were approximately 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation that participated in the event. All told, the American Public turned in more than 121 tons of pills on this first National Take Back Day.

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