DEA to Hold 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, organizations and coalitions will hold special events at some 5,000 collection sites around the nation to return all unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe and anonymous disposal. This is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in the past five years. Collection sites in every local community, staffed by DEA and its local law enforcement and community partners, can be found by going to www.dea.gov. All states and some territories will be participating Saturday (with the exception of Pennsylvania and Delaware, which held their events earlier in the month). 

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses vital public safety and health issues. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – posing safety and environmental hazards.

“Our goal is to reduce the risk of addiction and the 46,000 overdose deaths a year that come with prescription drug abuse. Take Back Day is a great opportunity for folks to help reduce the threat,” Rosenberg said in a news release. "Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

DEA’s previous nine nationwide Take-Back events collected 4,823,251 pounds—more than 2,411 tons—of drugs.  

CADCA will attend several Take Back Day events throughout the country, most notably with Rosenberg at one of the Unified Prevention Coalition’s events in Virginia.

CADCA and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals will launch a pilot project at multiple Take Back Day events Saturday in Hillsborough, Collier, and Seminole counties in Florida to ensure the safe and effective disposal of prescription medications. This pilot project is the next step in the overall strategy to prevent prescription drug misuse in Florida.

Have a permanent drop box or two in your community? List your locations for the public to find to use on non-Take Back Days at the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) website at rxdrugdropbox.org.