Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall , Special Agent in Charge

November 07, 2018

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

DEA New York collects 15% more unused pills 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

NEW YORK – With the robust participation of Americans nationwide, 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. The DEA’s New York Division collected 15% more unused prescription medication than at our last Take Back event in April, 2018.  A total of 24.5 tons of unused pills were collected at over 200 collection sites in New York State.   Approximately 21.5 tons were collected in Upstate New York; 1,258 pounds were collected in Long Island; 820.54 were collected in Westchester; 1,456 pounds were collected at Long-term care facilities; and 900 pounds were collected in the five Boroughs-219 pounds in Brooklyn, 126 pounds in the Bronx, 225 pounds in Manhattan, 239 pounds in Queens and 67 pounds in Staten Island.   

“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.”  

“This program provides a golden opportunity to households to safeguard their homes from drug addiction by removing unneeded prescription medication,” said Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall.  “Fifteen percent more unneeded prescription medication were safely disposed of during this Take Back event instead of posing a threat inside our homes.” 

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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