On April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Phoenix Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to the Target shopping plaza, located at 4734 E. Ray Road – in the parking lot. The service is free and anonymous - no questions asked. Items the police can’t take include: glass bottles, flammables, inhalers, intravenous solutions and syringes.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they can enter their ZIP code.

Police ask that parents take the time to talk to their children about the harm caused by medicine abuse and educate themselves on the signs of abuse. Please visit DEA’s interactive website on the dangers of legal and illegal drugs at www.justthinktwice.com and www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com.

In addition to taking unwanted prescription drugs, the police department has also partnered with Shred-It who has graciously agreed to shred up to five small boxes/bags of personal identifying material, per household, free of charge.

For more information regarding the Prescription Drug Take-Back/Shred-It program, in the Phoenix Police Department’s South Mountain Precinct, contact Sergeant Scott McCauley at (602) 534-1885.

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