DEA to hold 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Opportunity to clean out and secure home medicine cabinets
SAN DIEGO – With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 20th Take Back Day this Saturday, April 24th. DEA has collected over 6,800 tons of prescription drugs over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, and during DEA’s October 2020 Take Back Day, the public brought in a record-high amount of expired and unused prescription medications, close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs across the country and over 10,000 pounds here in San Diego and Imperial Counties. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
“Please do your part in helping law enforcement and our outstanding medical professionals stem the outrageous amount of overdose deaths in San Diego and Imperial Counties this year by disposing of your unwanted or expired opioids and other prescription drugs,” said Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “As always, no questions asked, just drop them off and enjoy the rest of your Saturday in beautiful Southern California.”
“It’s important to keep our own homes safe by regularly cleaning out medicine cabinets and any other areas where we store our pharmaceuticals,” said Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “Bringing unused or expired medications to a local collection site for safe disposal helps protect your loved ones and the environment.”
The public can drop off any unused, unwanted, expired, and potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites across San Diego and Imperial Counties. All sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed. As always, dropping off medications is anonymous.
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and overdose deaths.
Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.