On Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local agencies and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public the opportunity to drop off and safely dispose of any unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications in your home.
To find a collection location near you, visit www.DEATakeBack.com.
National Take Back Day gives the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The collection service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. And, in an effort to help combat the continued vaping health crisis across the country, the DEA announced that vaping cartridges and devices with batteries removed can be accepted at take-back collection sites! (Please note that devices with non-removable batteries cannot be accepted due to their potential fire hazard. For disposal of these device types, local hazardous waste management facilities or large electronic chain stores should be contacted.)
Last fall Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds—approximately 5,900 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 26 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.