Grassley Encourages Iowans to Participate in National Drug Take Back Day
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, released the following statement to encourage Iowans to participate in the 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 27, 2018.
“Opioid overdose deaths are preventable, yet there are still more than 100 every day. It's a complicated problem that requires creative, comprehensive and collaborative solutions. Drug Take Back programs are an important piece of the puzzle and serve as a way for everyone to help reduce the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis.”
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a national program coordinated by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Its purpose is to provide a safe, convenient and anonymous way to dispose of unused prescription drugs.
During the 15th National Drug Take Back Day in April, 2018, 88 law enforcement officers worked at 114 collection sites throughout Iowa and collected approximately 12,300 pounds of unused prescription drugs. More than 113,000 pounds of unused drugs have been collected in Iowa since the beginning of the drug take back program.
In 2016, Grassley, along with Sen. Joni Ernst, requested that the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a review of drug take back programs. Its report found low participation in the program due to confusing federally imposed regulations. Grassley and Ernst also urged the President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to conduct an evaluation of drug take back programs. The final report spurred increased participation in these programs from hospitals, clinics and pharmacies through year-round unused drug collection.
Grassley also worked with Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut to introduce the Access to Increased Drug Disposal Act (AIDD), bipartisan legislation that creates a federal demonstration program that allows states to apply for grant funding from the DOJ to grow participation in drug take back days. The AIDD Act was included in the comprehensive opioid legislation that was signed into law earlier this week.