National Prescription Drug Take Back Day scheduled for October 26
DEA and partners host bi-annual event to dispose of medications and vaping devices
OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its national, tribal and community partners will host the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at more than 6,036 sites nationwide where individuals can dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications. This service is free and anonymous, however, DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or other sharp objects.
For the first time, DEA will also accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations. It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries. If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.
Concerns have been raised across the United States over illnesses and death caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates. In an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially among America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.
“We encourage everyone to let us help dispose of their unused and unwanted medications so that they don’t end up being diverted for unintended purposes – like ending up in the school yard, watersheds or being sold on the street,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr.
According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 53 percent of survey respondents who reported misusing pain relievers said they were given, bought or taken from a friend or relative. Of these misusers, 40 percent got their most recently used prescription pain relievers from a friend or relative for free, while the remainder either bought them from a friend or relative or took them from a friend or relative without asking.
Now in its 10th year, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day initiative continues to remove high amounts of opioids and other medicines from homes, where they are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and visitors, including children and teens. Since the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, DEA has collected more than 11 million pounds of medication.
Individuals unable to drop off their medications on Saturday can locate secure disposal sites, many of which are open year-round, by visiting www.dea.gov/takebackday or by calling 1-800-882-9539. Take Back Day sites can also be found on the site.