DEA hits goal for Drug Take Back

The Signal - - News - By Jim Holt Sig­nal Se­nior Staff Writer jholt@sig­ 661-287-5527 On Twit­ter @jame­sarthurholt

The more than 150 pounds worth of un­wanted drugs col­lected last month in the Santa Clarita Val­ley as part of the Drug Take Back pro­gram helped the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion sur­pass its goal of col­lect­ing 10 mil­lion pounds of drugs.

“With the ro­bust par­tic­i­pa­tion of Amer­i­cans na­tion­wide, DEA and its law en­force­ment part­ners have now sur­passed its 10-mil­lion-pound goal and col­lected nearly 11 mil­lion pounds of un­used, un­wanted or ex­pired pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions over the course of 16 suc­cess­ful DEA Na­tional Pre­scrip­tion Drug Take Back events,” DEA Spe­cial Agent in Charge David J. Down­ing said in news re­lease is­sued by the DEA on Mon­day.

Dur­ing the 16th semi­an­nual event on Oct. 27, DEA and fed­eral, state and lo­cal part­ners dis­posed of more than 900,000 pounds of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions col­lected at nearly 6,000 sites across the coun­try.

“To­gether with al­most 5,000 lo­cal, state and fed­eral part­ners, DEA col­lected and de­stroyed more than 457 tons of po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous leftover pre­scrip­tion drugs,” Down­ing said.

This brings the to­tal amount of pre­scrip­tion drugs col­lected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 10,878,950 pounds, or 5439.5 tons — 150 pounds of which came from SCV res­i­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram on Oct. 27.

“The re­sults of our most re­cent Take Back Day clearly demon­strate a need for this ini­tia­tive as a tool in the fight against Amer­ica’s opi­oid cri­sis,” DEA Act­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tor Ut­tam Dhillon said.

“The suc­cess of this event is a di­rect re­flec­tion of DEA’s com­mit­ment to pre­vent drug ad­dic­tion and over­dose deaths in the U.S. To­gether, we are all help­ing to make a dif­fer­ence to keep our friends and fam­i­lies safe,” he said.

DEA’s Los An­ge­les Field Divi­sion, which en­com­passes seven coun­ties in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, the states of Ne­vada and Hawaii, the ter­ri­tory of Guam, and the Com­mon­wealth of the North­ern Mar­i­ana Is­lands, joined with more than 100 law en­force­ment and com­mu­nity part­ners to col­lect 28,675 pounds of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions at 151 col­lec­tion sites.

In the Los An­ge­les area, lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies from Ven­tura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Bar­bara, Los An­ge­les, Or­ange, River­side and San Bernardino coun­ties col­lected 19,886 pounds of pre­scrip­tion drugs.

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