Drug Enforcement Administration

New Orleans

Stephen G. Azzam, Special Agent in Charge

April 24, 2018

Contact: SA Debbie Webber

Phone Number: (504) 840-1100

DEA Aims For Record Removal Of Unused Pills Through Its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative

NEW ORLEANS, La. - After collecting more than 9 million (4,500 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at 14 previous events over the past 8 years, the Drug Enforcement Administration and its national, tribal, and community partners will hold the 15th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the country on Saturday, April 28th. The service is free and anonymous.

This weekend more than 5,600 collection sites manned by almost 4,500 partner law enforcement agencies will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The public can find a nearby collection site at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539. (DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.)

“Drug Overdose is now the leading cause of injury death in the United States; where on average 174 people die a day. DEA’s Take-Back initiative provides an easy and safe way for the public to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. We urge you to join us in doing your part by discarding unwanted prescriptions, which can pose a serious threat to public health and safety, by participating in this Saturday’s event,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.

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. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that flushing these drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash posed potential safety and health hazards.

The public has embraced the opportunity these Take Back Day events provide to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. Last fall the public turned in 456 (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its local and tribal partners.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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