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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed new regulations to give the public more options for disposing of unwanted prescription drugs, such as painkillers and sedatives.

The new rules are designed to reduce the amount of highly abused prescription drugs on the streets, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The DEA wants law enforcement agencies and pharmacies to maintain collection boxes for certain medications. The agency also recommends implementing mail-back programs to safely dispose of the drugs.

Under the proposed rules, for the first time, groups outside of law enforcement would be allowed to collect unused drugs for disposal, the article notes. According to a DEA news release, the proposal would allow authorized retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection boxes at long-term care facilities. The DEA also calls for continued use of prescription drug “take-back” events.

The public can comment on the proposed regulations until February 19. Congress subsequently will vote on the measure.


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