Drug Enforcement Administration


Jonathan A. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge

October 26, 2017

Contact: SSA Patrick Trainor

Phone Number: (571) 362-5391

DEA Announces 14th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Event will take place on Saturday, October 28th between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA - Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Philadelphia Division announced today that the DEA will conduct its 14th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on Saturday, October 28th  between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  

As with previous Take-Back events, approximately 323 collection sites will be available across Pennsylvania and Delaware for the public to anonymously and safely dispose of their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for free.  A list of collection sites in communities across the region can be found by going to www.DEATakeBack.com. 

During the last Take-Back event in April 2017, the public turned in 450 (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have collected over 8.1 million pounds -- more than 4,050 tons -- of pills.

The Take-Back initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue.  Rates of prescription drug abuse across the country are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that the majority of those who misused prescription opioids in the past 12 months obtained the drug from a friend or relative. 

“Disposing of leftover painkillers or other addictive medicines in the house is one of the best ways to prevent a member of your family from becoming a victim of the opioid epidemic,” said Tuggle.  “More people start down the path of addiction and overdose death with opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these drugs is our nation’s biggest drug problem.” 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- posed potential safety and health hazards.

“Prescription drug abuse is a contributing factor to the heroin and opioid epidemic that is gripping Pennsylvania and the nation, and too many people with prescription drug addictions obtain these medicines from family and friends’ medicine cabinets,” said Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith. “Keeping unused, unnecessary, or expired medication in homes increases the risk of it being abused. By participating in National Drug Take-Back Day, Pennsylvanians can help make their homes safer by properly disposing of medication.” 

A list of permanent prescription drug take-back boxes in communities across Pennsylvania and Delaware are available at www.ddap.pa.gov and www.dhss.delaware.gov.   

For more information about the Take-Back event, please contact DEA Public Information Officer/Special Agent Patrick J. Trainor at (215) 852-8740 or patrick.j.trainor@usdoj.gov.
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