Drug Enforcement Administration

Atlanta

Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

November 02, 2018

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (404) 893-7000

DEA achieves significant milestone during 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Americans across the country dropped off unused pills reaching a program total of nearly 11 million pounds

WASHINGTON – With the robust participation of Americans nationwide, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its law enforcement partners have now surpassed its 10 million pound goal and collected nearly 11 million pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications over the course of 16 successful DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back events. During the 16th semiannual event on Oct. 27, DEA and federal, state and local partners disposed of more than 900,000 pounds of prescription medications collected at nearly 6,000 sites across the country. Together with almost 5,000 local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed more than 457 tons of potentially dangerous leftover prescription drugs.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 10,878,950 pounds, or 5439.5 tons.

North Carolinians participating in Take Back Day turned in 29,992 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state.  The amount collected was the highest total collected during the previous 15 Take Back events.

“The results of our most recent Take Back Day clearly demonstrate a need for this initiative as a tool in the fight against America’s opioid crisis,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “The success of this event is a direct reflection of DEA’s commitment to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths in the U.S. Together, we are all helping to make a difference to keep our friends and families safe.”  

“DEA’s sixteenth Prescription Drug Take Back campaign was a success both locally and nationally," said DEA Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy. "While North Carolinians turned in 29,992 pounds of unwanted or expired medications, nationally, more than 457 tons of expired and unwanted prescription medications were collected at nearly 6,000 sites made available across the United States. I would like to thank the multitude of partners (both law enforcement and non-law enforcement) who worked tirelessly to make this event another great success.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

DEA began putting on Take Back Day events when the public had no other way to appropriately dispose of their leftover painkillers and other potentially dangerous drugs. These events have been extremely successful not only in getting unused drugs out of the house, but also in raising awareness of their link to addiction and overdose deaths. Since DEA launched this program nine years ago, doctors are prescribing fewer painkillers, and law enforcement agencies, pharmacies and others have installed permanent prescription drug drop boxes on-site, making drug disposal even more convenient.

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications.

Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at https://takebackday.dea.gov/#initiative-results. DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27, 2019.

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. Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv

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