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Rep. Chu Joins Law Enforcement to Call for Community Participation in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

October 21, 2016
Press Release

Pasadena, CA – On Thursday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) hosted a press conference at the Pasadena Police Department to encourage residents to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Rep. Chu was joined by Phillip Sanchez, the Chief of Police for the City of Pasadena, Carmichael Octave, Lieutenant of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in Altadena, and Ryan Hampton, a constituent and prescription drug addiction survivor. Rep. Chu and Chief Sanchez released the following statements:

“Opioid and prescription drug addiction in our country is an epidemic. Each day, 44 people in the United States die from an overdose of prescription drugs. Last year, overdoses surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of injury related death in America. And here in California, we saw 4,521 drug overdose deaths in 2014 alone. These numbers are staggering, and I believe our community must work together to provide solutions,” said Chu. “That is why I am encouraging our community to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Take-back programs like this offer the most effective way to dispose of old prescriptions. This Saturday, individuals can turn in their expired or unused medication at local police departments and partnering organizations, and know that the drugs will not end up in susceptible hands. In doing so, we can make our communities safer. The prescription drug crisis has taken too many lives. We can all play a small part in preventing drug abuse by participating and spreading the word.”

Police Chief Sanchez said, “"We are proud to join our Federal and Local partners and be able participate in such an important initiative.  We often look at narcotics as illicit drugs that enter our country illegally but the truth is that prescription medications are highly addictive and highly abused.  Allowing members of our community to dispose of their unwanted or unused prescription medications in a safe and anonymous manner decreases the potential for those drugs to fall into the wrong hands."

The DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, October 22nd from 10 AM to 2:00 PM. This initiative provides a safe, convenient, and responsible way for local residents to dispose of unused prescription drugs in their households, and also educates the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The Pasadena Police Department will serve as a community drop-off location, along with other local law enforcement agencies. A full list of drop-off locations in the area can be found here.  

In July of 2016, Rep. Chu served on the Conference Committee for S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016. This legislation includes treatment and prevention measures to reduce prescription opioid and heroine misuse, and passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. S.524 establishes a comprehensive, coordinated strategy with states and local law enforcement agencies to improve education and prevention efforts, expand resources to treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction, expand best practices for treatment throughout the country, and strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs. S.524 was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2016.