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Many Who First Misuse Prescription Pills Get Them From Friends, Family: Report
Date:4/26/2012

the United States, people can turn in unused or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal. Last October, 377,080 pounds of these medications were gathered, and a grand total of 1 million pounds of prescription pills have been collected by the DEA since it started the effort.

"Safety and disposal gaps still exist in our homes, hospital and health care system, and this underscores the importance and urgency of our efforts," said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She said that the FDA is also working with industry to develop new formulations of opioid painkillers that are harder to abuse and misuse.

"This is one of greatest drug threats we have ever faced," said DEA administrator Michele Leonhart. "Drugs left in home medicine cabinets are prime candidates for prescription drug abuse. We need to have a proper and safe way to dispose of them."

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SOURCES: April 25, 2012, news conference with: Gil Kerlikowske, director, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, Washington, D.C.; Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Michele Leonhart, administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration


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