News Release

Substance Abuse Free Indian River partners with local police in taking back unwanted prescription drugs at 15 locations in the county.

[VERO BEACH, FL] – On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Substance Abuse Free Indian River (SAFIR) participated in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, along with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Vero Beach Police Department, Sebastian Police Department, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Together, the organizations gave the public its 17th opportunity in nine years to prevent medication misuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back Day events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills.

Together, the SAFIR Coalition and local law enforcement were able to remove 525 pounds of unused medication from the community to be safely and properly disposed of. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in the home are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug misuse in the U.S. are at an all-time high, as are the number of overdoses and accidental poisonings due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—pose both potential safety and health hazards. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to https://safirc.org/national-take-back-day-2019/.