DEA Collects Record 456 Tons Of Opioids On Take Back Day

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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Americans combated the opioid epidemic by handing over a record 912,305 pounds of opioids, 456 tons, to law enforcement agents on the nation’s 14th drug take back day, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds the biannual take back days to ease saturation of unwanted opioids — dangerous prescription drugs which often lead to dependency and heroin addiction. The DEA organized 5,300 collection points for citizens to drop off the drugs, and the administration has collected and destroyed over 9 million pounds of opioids through the program in the last eight years, the DOJ announced.

“More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen,” said acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “This is a crisis that must be addressed from multiple angles. Educating the public and removing these medications from households across the Unites States prevents misuse where it often starts.”

With more than 64,000 fatal overdoses in 2016, America lost more people to the opioid crisis in one year than in the entire Vietnam War, and projections for 2017 look even worse, with fatal overdoses expected to top 70,000.

“In the midst of the worst drug crisis in American history, drug abuse prevention has never been more important,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.  “The latest Take Back day was the most successful yet, safely disposing of a record amounts of drugs. I have no doubt that will save lives. At a time like this, this event is having more of an impact than ever. They’re helping us end this crisis one pill at a time.”

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