Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday called on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to reinstate the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days.
The program allowed the safe disposal of prescription drugs and other controlled substances. The agency announced that it has expanded options for the safe disposal of prescription drugs in lieu of the semiannual sponsored program.
“Prescription drug abuse is a huge issue across upstate New York, from college campuses to neighborhood street corners and your own medicine cabinet," Schumer said. "These painkiller drugs are powerfully addictive, inherently harmful and often lead to abuse of even more harmful drugs like heroin. We must do everything possible to stem this scourge by making sure opportunities for safe disposal are readily available and accessible, so we can keep these dangerous left-over prescriptions off the streets. That is why it is unacceptable the DEA has eliminated an overwhelmingly successful program that has brought in thousands of pounds of unwanted prescriptions over its four years of existence."
In a WSAZ-TV report, Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and eight other senators sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressing their wish to have the program reinstated.
The report from Schumer's office states that 711 cases of opioid overdoses have been reported so far in 2015.