Drug Enforcement Administration


William T. McDermott, Special Agent in Charge

November 07, 2018

Contact: Special Agent Randy Ladd

Phone Number: (571) 387-2270

DEA Denver Division sets new record for 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Rocky Mountain Region participants dropped off nearly 42,000 pounds of unused pills

DENVER – With the robust participation of Americans nationwide, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 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 5,439.5 tons.

During the 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the DEA Denver Division collected at total of 41,996 pounds, or 21 tons throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. More specifically, Colorado collected 15,742 pounds, Utah collected 21,309 pounds, Montana collected 3,470 pounds and Wyoming collected 1,475 pounds.

“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.”  

The DEA Rocky Mountain Division teamed up with 160 law enforcement partners staffing 196 collection sites. Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division, Tim McDermott said, “Our agency partners are an integral part of the National Take Back Day, and the success of this program would not be possible without their participation.”

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.

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