Arizonans encouraged to dispose of pills on Drug Take-Back Day

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By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman

PHOENIX -- Arizonans will be able to dispose of their expired prescription drugs this weekend as part of a joint promotion from federal, state and local agencies.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and other local law enforcement offices will hold a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where people can bring expired pills to 85 sites across the state.

The program is intended to combat prescription drug abuse. A 2011 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more people abuse prescription pills than cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens combined.

Drug abuse is especially concerning among children. According to the DEA, one out of six children in Arizona have abused prescription pills.

“We know that young people consider controlled-substance prescription drugs, like Vicodin, to be a safer way to get high but they couldn’t be more wrong," DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman said in a statement. "By removing unwanted prescription drugs from their homes, the public helps prevent experimentation, addiction, overdose and even death."

The DEA has hosted seven take-back days over the last three years, collecting and disposing of more than 35,000 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs.

To find a collection site, go to the DEA’s website at and click on the "Got Drugs?" icon or call 1-800-882-9539.