DEA and partners collect thousands of pounds of unwanted medications and vaping products during the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
MIAMI – Americans nationwide have once again shown their strong support for DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by dropping off nearly 883,000 pounds of medications during the October 2019 Take Back event.
DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 12.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 26, the public turned in 882,919 pounds – almost 442 tons – of medication to DEA and 4,896 of its community partners at 6,174 collection sites nationwide, including 135 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites. Since 2017, under this Administration, DEA has collected nearly 5.5 million pounds of medications.
In Florida, the public disposed of 36,193 pounds of medications at over 200 collection sites statewide supported by both law enforcement and non-law enforcement partners of the DEA Miami Field Division.
Beginning with October’s campaign, DEA accepted vaping devices and cartridges in addition to medications at all of its drop-off locations. With hundreds of confirmed lung injuries and dozens of deaths attributed to vaping use, DEA is working diligently in our communities and through our outreach efforts to spread the word about the dangers of vaping.
“DEA’s Take Back Day events have been extremely successful in not only removing potentially dangerous unused drugs from our nation’s medicine cabinets, but also in raising awareness of their link to addiction and overdose deaths,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “In an effort to combat another emerging public health threat – particularly to our nation’s youth – we’re proud to have extended the same opportunity to those looking to dispose of harmful vaping products.”
“The numbers are shocking! Over 70,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths. Approximately 5,000 of those deaths occur in Florida” said DEA Miami Division Special Agent in Charge Adolphus P. Wright. “More than half of those deaths are from opioids such as prescription drugs, heroin, and fentanyl. Since many new heroin users begin their journey with prescription medications, the Take Back program has had a significant impact in helping rid homes of these medications to prevent abuse.”
The public has embraced Take Back Day events because they provide easy, no-cost opportunities to remove medicines languishing in the home that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse, and theft. Public demand for safe and secure drug disposal has also resulted in a significant increase in year-round drug drop boxes at law enforcement facilities, pharmacies, and elsewhere, making drug disposal even more convenient.
Complete results for DEA’s spring Take Back Day are available at www.DEATakeBack.com.
DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 25, 2020.