With families being encouraged to stay at home due to the coronavirus health crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration reminded Southlanders Tuesday to keep their prescription medications safe and secure until they can properly dispose of them.
"Protecting the health and safety of our communities is DEA's top priority, especially during the unprecedented public health emergency,'' DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a statement touting the "Secure Your Meds'' awareness campaign.
"With Americans at home, families need to be even more vigilant and keep prescription medications safe, secure and out of reach of children and others in the household,'' Dhillon said.
The DEA holds its national Prescription Drug Take Back Day twice a year. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency postponed the 2020 Spring Take Back Day, originally scheduled for this Saturday.
The DEA will reschedule Take Back day for a date shortly after the health crisis recedes and national emergency guidelines are lifted, according to the agency.
In the meantime, the Secure Your Meds campaign "is a great reminder for people to take action to protect and secure medications in their homes,'' said DEA Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner. "As more people are home due to the COVID-19 crisis there is more exposure to prescription drugs in medicine cabinets that can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
"The majority of prescription drug abusers say they get their drugs free from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet,'' Bodner said. "While we are all facing unique challenges during this time don't let the risk of prescription drug abuse or misuse be one of them.''
Information on the Secure Your Meds campaign and Take Back Day are available at www.DEATakeBack.com.