Media release | Hawaii Department of the Attorney General
HONOLULU – Attorney General David Louie, Narcotics Enforcement Division Acting Administrator Derek Nakamura, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special-Agent-in-Charge Robin Dinlocker, and D.A.R.E. Hawaii President Carolyn Onaga announce Hawaii’s second Take Back Initiative at various locations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan.
This program is a nationwide take-back initiative to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and the danger of accidental poisoning.
On April 30, 2011, Hawaii residents can turn in unused, unneeded, or expired prescription medications at collection sites across Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. A list of collection dates and locations is attached.
This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.
“Unused or expired medicine can be dangerous or harmful and should be disposed of properly,” Louie said. “This program gives Hawaii residents an opportunity to safely dispose of their medication in a safe and anonymous way. It is partnerships like these that make Hawaii a safe place for all of us.”
“Prescription drugs treat illness and alleviate pain – but should only be used when under the care of a doctor,” Dinlocker said. “This is a free, anonymous program. Turn in your unused, unwanted, unneeded medication, no questions asked.”
“Here in Hawaii, pharmaceutical controlled substances are quickly becoming the second most abused drugs in our schools after marijuana,” Nakamura said. “Most teens obtain these drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets or from friends.”
“Unused or expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash where others can find it,” Onaga said. “Children and/or pets can fall victims. We need to keep Hawaii safe by participating in this worthy effort.”
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 prescription drug abuse.
- In 2008, 6.2 million Americans aged 12 years or older abused prescription drugs – more than the total number of Americans abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined.
- Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends – including from home medicine cabinets.
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 where others can find it.
- Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs being used inappropriately.
Unused or expired medicine should not be flushed down the toilet unless the label says it is flushable.
- Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.
This program is a partnership of:
Department of the Attorney General
Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Hawai`i Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Hawaii
For more information, please visit www.justice.gov/dea/ or call 808-541-1930.