A Lewes Terminal visitor hands in prescription drugs in April 2021.

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NORTH CAPE MAY - The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Police Department Oct. 23 will participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) 21st National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

According to a release from the DRBA, law enforcement officers will be at the North Cape May Terminal, for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

This initiative, which focuses on removing potentially dangerous drugs from the nation’s homes, provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceuticals and other medications to law enforcement officers for proper disposal. 

According to Col. Richard Arroyo, police administrator, DRBA, this DEA program addresses a vital public safety and health issue. 

“The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has found that 66% of teens who misused pain relievers got them from family and friends, including their home’s medicine cabinets,” Arroyo stated. “It is important to properly dispose of expired, unwanted or unused prescription medicines to diminish opportunities for easy access to these medications. We hope many people will take advantage of this opportunity to do just that.”

Arroyo added that the program is confidential. 

“No questions or requests for identification will be made by law enforcement personnel present,” he stated. “In fact, participants will be asked to remove any personal information from bottles or packages.”

Numerous collections sites are established throughout the area for the public to relinquish over-the-counter controlled substance or prescription drugs – including tablets, capsules, ointments, creams and liquids, as well as expired animal medication and vitamins. Syringes will not be accepted. 

Since the bi-state agency began participating in the NTBI in 2010, more than 2,500 pounds of medication have been collected at DRBA sites.

Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are also advised that the typical methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - both pose potential safety and health hazards.

The public can find the nearest collection sites in their community by logging on to the internet and going to dea.gov and clicking on the drug disposal icon. After clicking on the icon, site visitors must enter their zip code, and the database will query the collection sites that have been registered and provide the nearest collection site near that zip code.

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