Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DNE Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Thursday, May 5, 2011 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Iowans Turn in More than 5,000 lbs. of Prescription Drugs

Des Moines, IOWA --- Last weekend the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE) and more than 85 law enforcement agencies across the state participated in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's nation-wide Prescription Drug Take-Back event. As a result of this public service event, Iowans turned in 5,142 pounds of unused, unneeded and expired prescription medications.

Safely removing these prescription drugs from Iowa homes is a important. Statistics from the Drug Enforcement Agency indicate:

  • 1 in 7 teens admits to abusing prescription drugs to get high in the past year. Sixty percent of teens who abused prescription pain relievers did so before the age of 15.
  • Fifty-six percent of teens believe that prescription drugs are easier to get than illicit drugs.
  • 2 in 5 teens believe that prescription drugs are "much safer" than illegal drugs. And 3 in 10 teens believe that prescription pain relievers are not addictive.
  • Sixty-three percent of teens believe that prescription drugs are easy to get from friends' and family's medicine cabinet.

Upon hearing the results of the Prescription Take-Back event in Iowa, DNE Director Kevin Frampton was impressed with the turn-out, "More Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined." Frampton added, "It's reassuring to know Iowans are taking note of this public health issue. And when presented with an opportunity, the citizens are working to get medication out of their homes and out of the reach of our teens."

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