Drug Enforcement Administration

El Paso

Kyle Williamson, Special Agent in Charge

October 24, 2018

Contact: Lucy Holcomb

Phone Number: (915) 832-6000

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

DEA aims to dispose of 10 million pounds of unused pills

El PASO, Texas – After collecting a total of more than 9.9 million pounds (nearly 5,000 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications during 15 previous events over the past eight years, the 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.

This weekend, more than 5,400 collection sites manned nationwide by more than 4,400 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. Liquids, needles or sharps cannot be accepted at any collection site.

“We know that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from the home medicine cabinet,” said Kyle Williamson, DEA Special Agent in Charge, El Paso Division. “More people die each year from prescription pain killer overdoses than from illegal drugs because they believe that taking a prescription pill is a safe way to get high. If we reduce the availability of those unused or expired medications through proper disposal, fewer people will be at risk for abuse, addiction, overdose, and even death.”

Locally, the DEA El Paso Division, which covers West Texas and all of New Mexico, brought in 10,728.64 pounds during the event held in April 2018.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. 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.

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