Take-Back Day to get unused prescription drugs out of cabinets

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Tthe Federal Drug Enforcement Administration wants you to clear your medicine cabinet of unused or expired prescription drugs and take them to a designated drop-off point. (WPVI)

This coming Saturday, the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration wants you to clear your medicine cabinet of unused or expired prescription drugs and take them to a designated drop-off point.

It's called a Take-Back Day.

Tricia Stouch lost her 19-year-old daughter Pam back in March 2010 to a heroin overdose, but it did not start there.

It began seven months earlier with an addiction to prescription drugs, namely Percocet then Xanax and OxyContin.

"Please don't think this is not happening in your life. Somebody you know is having a problem," Stouch said.

Pam was mature enough to manage a Pizza Hut at age 18, but while out partying, she fell prey to heroin. She died one night while at her grandmother's house.

"It's not a drug addict on the corner anymore, it's our own kids," Stouch said.

Tricia now reads from Pam's diary about the hell of drug addiction. She speaks to teens and parents at schools about the growing epidemic of opium-based prescription drugs leading to heroin.

"The medicine cabinet has become a gateway to opium addiction in this country," Gary Tuggle of the DEA said.

"I don't know how to not be her parent anymore even though she's not here. This is my way of doing that," Stouch said.
For years, the DEA has sponsored Take-Back Days where people voluntarily clear their medicine cabinets of expired or unused prescription drugs and turn them over for disposal.

"We've destroyed just short of five million pounds of unwanted, expired, and unused medications," Tuggle said.

This Saturday, the DEA will have roughly 300 drug drop-off point across Pennsylvania and Delaware. No questions asked.

Information: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

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