The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced the creation of a new Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regulation that would allow pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and other authorized collectors to serve as authorized drop-off sites for unused prescription medications.

The new DEA rule will also allow long-term care facilities to assist in the disposal of prescription controlled substances belonging to current or former residents. Patients or family members will be able to mail their prescription controlled substances to authorized collectors via prepaid mail-back packages that can be obtained right from their pharmacy, or from other locations such as libraries and community centers.

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Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the new regulation would help to prevent prescription drug misuse, particularly with opioid medications. It will also ensure that medications are properly disposed without creating environmental damage such as ending up in landfills or the water supply.

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