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DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Effort-- A Big Success

OCT 05 (CHICAGO) - The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Chicago Field Division along with 306 federal, state and local counterparts took in more than 77,000 pounds of unused, expired or unwanted drugs as part of the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative (NTBI) on Saturday, September 26. This was the 10th NTBI event in the past five years. 

Hundreds of Americans in communities across the five-state Chicago Field Division participated in the NTBI by discarding their drugs at approximately 346 collection sites manned by DEA and its local law enforcement and community partners.

In particular, the State of Illinois collection sites took in 40,109 pounds. The State of Indiana collection sites took in 18,400 pounds. The State of Wisconsin collection sites took in 11,479 pounds. The State of Minnesota collection sites took in 5,600 pounds. And the State of North Dakota collection sites took in 1,495 pounds.

The NTBI addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. 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. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs.  That same study showed that a majority of 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.  The DEA’s NTBI events are also a significant piece of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy. 

In his Weekly Address, President Obama spoke about the importance of preventing and treating substance use disorders and called on Americans to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and


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