National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Results in DEA and Partners Collecting Hundreds of Thousands of Pounds
of Unneeded Medications in an Effort to Prevent Addiction and Reduce Overdose Deaths
NEW ORLEANS – On April 30, 2022, communities across the country demonstrated their support for DEA’s annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by dropping off more than 720,000 pounds of unneeded medications at 5,144 collection sites. Since 2010, DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has collected nearly 16 million pounds of unneeded prescription medications.
DEA’s New Orleans Field Division, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, collected 40,214 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at 467 collection sites throughout the division. The amounts collected for each state within the division was the following: Louisiana – 4,152 pounds; Mississippi –4,007 pounds; Alabama – 3,575 pounds; and Arkansas – 28,480 pounds.
“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an important part of DEA’s efforts to fight the overdose epidemic and save lives,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “I encourage everyone across the country to dispose of unneeded medications throughout the year to help keep our communities safe and healthy.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley said, “Prescription medications often end up in the wrong hands, feeding an addiction epidemic that is killing Americans at record rates. It’s absolutely critical that we all do our part in ridding our homes of these unused medications and dispose of them safely at these Drug Take-Back events or at permanent drop sites throughout the year. Residents in this four-state region took a vital step in reducing the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse by turning in 40,214 pounds of medications. DEA thanks the citizens – including our federal, state and local and tribal law enforcement and community partners - for their tremendous support in this effort to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, over 107,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose last year. This figure means that someone in the United States is dying of a drug overdose every 5 minutes.
Take Back Day events provide easy, no-cost opportunities to dispose of medicines stored in the home that are susceptible to abuse and theft. There are many permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. A list of permanent locations can be found here.
Complete results for DEA’s spring National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available at www.DEATakeBack.com. DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for October 29, 2022.