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DEA urging people to keep prescription medications safe for 'Secure Your Meds' campaign

Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 16:56:22-04

Saturday would have been National Prescription Drug Take Back day, but it's been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Drug Enforcement Administration is urging people to keep their medications safe until they can properly get rid of them with the Secure Your Meds campaign.

The campaign is a reminder for people to clean out medicine cabinets and secure any unused, unwanted and expired medications. It also urges families to discuss the issue of prescription drug abuse.

“Pharmaceutical drugs, particularly controlled substances, taken without a prescription or a practitioner’s supervision can be just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs,” said DEA Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin, whose office oversees DEA efforts in Michigan, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

“The opioid epidemic has affected far too many families and unfortunately, improperly secured and legally prescribed medication is a contributing factor.”

Officials suggest putting all unused, unwanted and expired medications in a bag or container and putting them somewhere kids won’t be able to find them.

“It's a time to talk to the kids and to talk to family members. If you do have unused, unwanted and expired meds to secure it and talk about the dangers of that,” said James Goodwin, the Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Cleveland Division Office.

The DEA typically holds Prescription Drug Take Back Day twice a year. It still plans to hold its spring Take Back Day, however, it will be rescheduled after national emergency guidelines are lifted.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.