In an effort to help take highly abused prescription drugs off the streets, federal authorities are proposing new regulations that would give the public more options to get rid of unwanted controlled substances, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Under the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing new components that would ask law-enforcement agencies and pharmacies to maintain collection boxes for certain drugs — such as painkillers and sedatives. They would also implement mail-back programs so authorities could safely dispose of the drugs.
The proposals come with a long list of safety precautions to ensure the drugs could not be reused or stolen and sold on the streets. The new regulations would allow entities outside of law enforcement to collect the unwanted drugs for disposal. DEA also intends for local police departments and sheriff's offices to continue hosting prescription-drug "take-back" events, as they have since 2010. Prescription drug abuse has been declared an epidemic in the United States and is the fastest-growing drug problem in the nation. Years of lax laws and regulations for pain-management clinics made Florida a top destination for drug addicts and dealers.