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DEA Brings in Record Amount of Unused Prescription Drugs on National Prescription Take Back Day
Over 42,000 pounds collected in the New Orleans Field Division

MAY 09 (NEW ORLEANS) –The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and more than 4,200 of its law enforcement and community partners collected more unused prescription drugs than at any of the 12 previous National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events.

On Saturday, April 29, the event brought in 900,386 pounds (450 tons) at close to 5,500 sites across the nation. Marking the 13th National Prescription Take Back Day since September 2010, these events have altogether collected 8,103,363 pounds (4,052 tons) of prescription drugs.

The New Orleans Field Division (NOFD) and its community law enforcement partners collected 42,322 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs at collection sites throughout the division.  The amounts collected for each state within the NOFD:

Louisiana – 7,407 pounds,
Mississippi – 4,145 pounds,
Alabama – 6,287 pounds,
Arkansas – 24,483 pounds. 

“In the midst of this worst-ever opioid epidemic, where we’re losing over 90 people a day, it’s absolutely critical that we all get unused drugs out of homes and dispose of them safely at these Drug Take-Back events,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.  “Residents in this four-state region took an important step in reducing the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse by turning in over 21 tons of medications from their homes.  DEA thanks the public for their overwhelming support to this effort to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands.” 

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

DEA’s next National Prescription Take Back Day is Saturday, October 28.

In the more two years since new regulations made the disposal of controlled prescription drugs easier for patients and their caregivers, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics have begun continuous collection of these medications. To visit a collection site between Take Back Days, go to or to .

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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