SANTA MONICA—On Saturday, October 26, the city of Los Angelesparticipated in the DEA’s sixth Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back event from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Drug Take-Back event was created to help people dispose of old medications and prescriptions.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began the event to halt illegal trafficking of drugs.

According to their website, their mission “is to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals from legitimate sources while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs.”

According to a press release from the Santa Monica Police Department in 2012, Americans dropped off 371 tons of prescriptive drugs from 5,800 different locations. Authorities who are in-charge of collecting the medications at these events, collected everything, but needles.

The DEA’s website referred sharp needle users to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the best ways to dispose of their needles; encouraging sharp needle users to take their needles to doctor’s offices, health departments, fire stations, hospitals and pharmacies.  They encouraged users to do Mail-Back programs, Syringe Exchange Programs via the North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN) or use At-Home Needle Destruction Devices.

The SMPD mentioned an amendment being made to the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or pet or their family member or owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.