The Darien Health Department, in conjunction with the Darien Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is holding a drug disposal day on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to David Knauf, Darien's director of health, the event allows the public to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription (and over-the-counter) drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Bring your medications for disposal to the Darien Dump & Town Garage at Ledge Road.

The upcoming National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

The DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted National Prescription Drug Take Back Days on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, and April 25. Nearly, 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills. Proper disposal of medications is also important in protecting the environment since low levels of prescription drugs have been detected in surface and groundwater in various locations throughout the country.

So to protect the environment and the health of our children, please:

- Clean out the medicine cabinets;

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- Leave the meds in the original containers;

- Block out any personal identifying information;

-And bring those prescription and over- the-counter meds to the special collection area at the transfer station on Saturday, Oct. 29;

- Never flush meds down the toilet.

Please note that this collection effort is for drugs only. No other items such as needles or hazardous materials will be accepted.