DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that local law enforcement from across Colorado will partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration to hold a statewide prescription drug take-back day on Saturday, Sept. 25 at sites across the state.
“Prescription drug abuse is one of Colorado’s fastest growing problems,” Suthers said. “Although prescription medication provides relief to tens of thousands of Coloradans every day, these drugs are often hard to properly dispose of and readily available to youth and others to abuse. Take-back programs, such as these, will help local and federal law enforcement take a significant amount of the supply of potent and dangerous controlled substances off our streets.”
Colorado youth in particular are abusing prescription drugs at an alarming rate. According to statistics from the Colorado Division of Behavioral Health and other state agencies, Coloradans ages 24 and younger comprised 20 percent of all admissions to Colorado drug treatment facilities to treat addictions to opioids, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
“By participating in the first-ever National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, we will reduce the risk of accidental poisoning, misuse and abuse of prescription drugs,” said Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Rocky Mountain Division. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this program, which will make our homes and communities a safer place to live.”
The more than 90 sites across the state range from Craig to La Junta and Yuma to Cortez and cover every major city and metropolitan area in the state. The participating agencies and take-back sites and the times they will accept controlled substances can be found at www.dea.gov.
Consumers should not simply throw away or flush controlled substances. Often the chemicals contained in these drugs can harm wildlife or the environment. Drugs left in trash bins or by the curb also can be stolen and abused. Federal law requires that controlled substances be accepted by a certified peace officer. Controlled substances, unlike antibiotics and non-controlled prescription medications, cannot be taken back by pharmacies or doctors offices.