I want to let you know about the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Take Back Initiative. I'm sure many of you have unused prescription drugs in kitchen cabinets and medicine cabinets in the house.

On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can take prescription medications that are no longer useful to you to a local drug enforcement agency where they will be disposed of properly. You can find the nearest prescription medication take back site on the DEA’s website.

In a press release, the DEA explained why this initiative is important.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Take a few minutes to go through your old prescriptions to see which ones are no longer needed, find your nearest drop off location, and mark your calendars. Keep the drugs out of the hands of those who might abuse them and out of trash where they can damage the environment.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.