DEA and partners collect a record amount of unwanted medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
DEA brings in nearly a million pounds of prescription medications
Louisville, Ky. – DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day brought in nearly a million pounds of unused, expired, and unwanted medications across the country, the largest amount ever collected in the program’s ten years. Americans once again showed their dedication to remove prescription pills from their homes to prevent addiction before it starts.
DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 13.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 24, the public turned in 985,392 pounds – almost 493 tons – of medication to DEA and 4,153 of its community partners at 4,587 collection sites nationwide, including 33 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites.
“This year’s event, with a record-setting 493-ton collection, is a sure sign that DEA’s Take Back Day events continue to provide a vital public service that keeps loved ones safe—an opportunity to rid homes of potentially dangerous unused, expired, and unwanted medications,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea. “Every day is Take Back Day and we encourage the public to continue to address this urgent safety and public health issue by using the thousands of existing drop-off locations throughout the year.”
Across DEA’s Louisville Division, which comprises Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, over 17.5 tons of expired, unused, or unneeded medication were turned in at 192 collection sites. Kentucky took in the most, with 14,930.85 pounds; followed by Tennessee with 14,768.42 pounds; and West Virginia, with 5,864.69 pounds.
“We’re very pleased with the amount of medications we collected this year, especially at time when we’re seeing an alarming rise in overdose deaths,” said J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Louisville Division. “It’s too easy for controlled substances to make their way from the home medicine cabinet to the street, and we appreciate all the help we can get to make our communities safer for everyone.”
In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, safe and secure drug disposal continues to be available at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors throughout the year. For more information, visit: https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.
DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.
Complete results for DEA’s 2020 October Take Back Day are available at www.deatakeback.com.
Photos and video from Take Back Day are available at https://www.flickr.com/gp/190205961@N07/hbL64G.