Drug Enforcement Administration


Steven Whipple, Special Agent in Charge

May 07, 2018

Contact: Sammy Parks

Phone Number: (713) 693-3329

DEA's 15th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Delivers Positive Numbers Throughout South And Central Texas

HOUSTON - From Waco to Houston to Laredo, Texas, Texan’s showed their support for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day program by dropping off their unused, unwanted and expired prescription pills on April 28 at collection sites across Texas. The Houston Division collected over 44,262 pounds of prescription drugs during the 15th National Prescription Drug Take-Back.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. “Take Back Day helps to keep drugs out of the hands of abusers and potentially save lives by removing unused painkillers and controlled drugs from homes,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “The more unused painkillers or controlled drugs we can help to remove from homes, the more potential lives will be saved. The home medicine cabinet is a frequent target of prescription drug abusers and often provides access to prescription medication. We need the help of the public to dispose of this unwanted source of abuse. Take Back Day is an effective tool for addressing the opioid crisis in America.”

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.

On a national scale, 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. In total nationwide, since 2010, DEA has collected more than 9 million (4,500 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at 14 previous events.  

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.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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