Drug Enforcement Administration


Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

October 18, 2016

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (571) 362-3517

DEA Columbia District Office Holds 12th Prescription Drug Take-Back Saturday, October 22

(COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Drug Enforcement Administration’s South Carolina District Office is partnering with national, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, as well as community coalition groups, to hold its 12th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. 

This one-day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. At the event, South Carolinians will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge, no questions asked.  By doing so, they will help prevent prescription drug abuse and theft. South Carolinians participating in DEA’s last take-back, held on April 30, 2016, yielded 6,688 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state. This turn-in yielded the highest number ever collected during the 10 previous take-back events in the state.

America is presently experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers.  6.4 million Americans age 12 and over-2.4 percent of the population-abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last month, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine combined.  Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms.  The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in this country. A very accessible drug stash can be found right at home in our medicine cabinets. You can make your home safe and strengthen your community by participating in DEA’s twelfth nationwide prescription take-back event. DEA will be working hand-in-hand with our community partners, law enforcement personnel and the general public to raise the awareness of prescription drug abuse. Please join us in this effort as we seek to rid our communities of prescription drug abuse, and by removing drug cartels from our medicine cabinets.”

The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and following the links to a database where they enter their zip code.  Or they can call 800-882-9529.  Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites-liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

DEA US Badge
United States Drug Enforcement Administration DEA.gov is an official site of the U.S. Department of Justice