The DEA is stepping up its activities in southwest Ohio to push the withdrawal of Rx drugs again

NORWOOD, Ohio – This week, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents are hoping to collect unused prescription drugs and they expect a record move due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The DEA is changing the way its agents work in the Cincinnati area. What used to be an office run by agents in Columbus, Ohio responsible for three cities and dozen of counties in between now has a boss of its own and better resources.

DEA Cincinnati-Dayton Special Agent Steve Miller’s top concern is opioids – especially fentanyl – and the continued risk of loneliness and isolation as social distancing protocols persist for the second straight spring season.

“There is some consideration that isolation leads to an increase in mental illness,” Miller said. “That would potentially put more prescriptions on them, and those prescriptions might bring them back opportunities for distraction,” or someone using medication they were not prescribed.

Miller hopes the DEA reorganization in the region will allow for better enforcement and prevention of overdose deaths.

“What it allows is a slightly more specific focus on Cincinnati and Dayton,” Miller said. “So when you have Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, you’re taking your resources and watering them down because your landscape is a little wider. So when you narrow down your responsibilities, you can work harder.”

Law enforcement agencies across the state will attend the DEA’s next National Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 24th, 10 am-2pm. You can find the nearest drop-off point via the DEA map portal here.

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