HONOLULU, HAWAII – Attorney General David Louie, Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) Acting Administrator Derek Nakamura, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special-Agent-in-Charge Robin Dinlocker encourage the community to bring in their expired or unused prescription medications at various collection points from September to October 2011.

Hawaii residents can turn in unused, unneeded, or expired prescription medications at collection site across Hawaii.  A list of collection dates and locations is attached.

This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.

Tablets, capsules, and all other solid dosage forms will be accepted.

“Unused or expired prescription drugs pose serious health and safety risks for those in our state,” said Attorney General Louie.  “This is the third take-back effort in which our department is involved.  I encourage everyone in the state to participate and bring in their unused or expired prescription drugs at the participating take-back locations.”

“Last year, approximately 70% of controlled substances that were brought into the Take Back program were identified as narcotic/pain killers.  In all counties, narcotic/pain killers accounted for the highest percentages of controlled substances collected,” said Acting Administrator Derek Nakamura. “This program allows people to safely dispose of their expired or unused medications.”

“This year’s DEA, National Take-Back Event for prescription drugs on October 29, 2011 will also coincide with DEA’s Red Ribbon Week, which is a week-long initiative to raise awareness of drug use and the problems related to drugs facing our community.  It encourages parents, educators, business owners, and other community organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles,” said Special-Agent-in-Charge Robin Dinlocker.  “Red Ribbon Week and this year’s National Take Back Event give us all a great opportunity to highlight that living drug free starts at home – by ensuring un-used, un-needed or expired medications are properly stored and disposed.  Visit www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com for more information about Red Ribbon Week and www.justice.gov/dea/ for additional information regarding this year’s National Take Back Event.”

Unused or expired medicine should be disposed of properly when it is no longer needed for the illness for which it was prescribed.
·        Medicines may lose their effectiveness after the expiration date.
·        Improper use of prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal drug use.

Having unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of accidental poisoning.
·        Homes where children or the elderly live are especially vulnerable to this danger.
·        People may mistake one type of medicine for another type.  Children may mistake medicine for candy.

Unused or expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet.
·        Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs being used inappropriately.
·        Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

This effort is a partnership of:
·        Department of the Attorney General
·        Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety
·        U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
·        University of Hawaii at Hilo, School of Pharmacy
·        Ohana Health Plan

For more information, please visit www.hawaii.gov/ag

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