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Vaping Devices Now Accepted During Drug Take-Back Day

October 25, 2019, 10:27 AM HST
* Updated October 25, 10:28 AM
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The Drug Enforcement Administration will now accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Hawaiʻi County Police Department will be participating in the national initiative and is encouraging the public to participate. On Oct. 26, members of the public may turn in unused, unneeded or expired prescription medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following collection sites for safe, anonymous disposal:

  • Ka Waena Lapaʻau Medical Complex parking lot
    670 Ponahawai Street
    Hilo
  • Kona Police Station
    74-0611 Hale Makaʻi Place
    Kailua-Kona

Concerns have been raised across the United States over illnesses and death caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates, according to a Hawaii County Police press release. To support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially amongst America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.

“DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative helps get unused and unwanted prescription medications out of circulation and ensures their safe disposal,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This year, we are taking a step further by accepting vaping devices and cartridges as we work with our federal partners to combat this emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.”

As usual, tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms of medication will be accepted. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.

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Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative. It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium-ion batteries from vaping devices. If batteries cannot be removed before drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium-ion batteries.

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Having unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

Now in its tenth year, DEA has collected a total of more than 11 million pounds (almost 6,000 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications through its Take Back Day events. DEA is continuing to register law enforcement partners, and collection sites for the upcoming Take Back Day. As of Oct. 15, more than 4,500 registered law enforcement partners will assist with more than 5,250 registered sites and 135 tribal locations across the country, with more being added each day Collection sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The public can find a nearby collection site at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539.

National Take-Back Day has received enthusiastic public support since its inception in 2010. Last April, the public turned in 469 tons (937,443pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 6,258 sites operated by the DEA and its 4,969 local and tribal partners.

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For more information about the drug take-back program, visit www.dea.gov.

For more information about the harms of youth vaping, visit https://www.justthinktwice.gov/facts/vaping-what-you-should-know.

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