Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

October 23, 2018

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

DEA and partners hold National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday October 27

SAN FRANCISCO – After collecting a total of more than 9.9 million pounds nationwide (nearly 5,000 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications during 15 previous events over the past eight years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration expects to reach a total of 10 million pounds collected following the upcoming fall 2018 take back event. DEA and its national, tribal and community partners will hold the 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day across the country on Saturday, October 27. The service is free and anonymous.

In Northern California and the Central Valley more than 160 collection sites manned by nearly 100 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.)

“Prescription drugs that languish in the home are susceptible to diversion and misuse. We urge people to take advantage of this free and anonymous program to properly dispose of medication at one of the many sites in our area,” said DEA San Francisco Field Division Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen. 

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States continue to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Because the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration have advised the public that flushing their prescription drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards, DEA launched its prescription drug take back program to encourage the safe disposal of medications.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has received robust public support since its inception in 2010. Last April, Northern California and Central Valley residents turned in 15 tons (30,172 pounds) of medication at more than 150 sites operated by more than 100 law enforcement partners.



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