The Drug Enforcement Agency and community partners will hold the second National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at sites throughout the United States, including Waldo County.

This is an opportunity for the public to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal. Long-term care facilities are invited to participate in National Take Back Day. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Collection sites in Waldo County include:

  • Searsport Police Department, Dan Rich Public Safety Building, Union Street, Searsport
  • Belfast Police Department, 112 Church St., Belfast
  • Lincolnville Town Office, 493 Hope Road, Lincolnville
  • Unity Foundation Building, Main St., Unity

This initiative addresses a public safety and public health issue. Prescription drugs are being misused and abused at alarming rates in the U.S — more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

As rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, so are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away — both potential safety and health hazards.

Find a nearby collection site by visiting GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, or justthinktwice.com and clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon and following the links to a database, where people can enter their zip code. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations. Those who do not have access to the Internet may call 1-800-882-9539 for assistance.

People interested in having a take-back event in their community may contact local police or the county sheriff’s office. Law enforcement agencies interested in operating a collection site may register with the DEA by calling the DEA Field Division office in the area. To see each division office’s geographic area of responsibility, go to dea.gov and click on the “Office Locations” link under “About Us” in the menu on the left side of the homepage. Visit nationaltakebackday.com to download materials to help promote local collection events.