Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

November 06, 2019

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (202) 305-8426

State of Maryland locations collect a record breaking amount of medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

WASHINGTON – The results from DEA’s 18th National Prescription Take Back Day are in and DEA and its partners in the Washington, D.C. area have collected a record amount of medications.

On Oct. 26, community members across the area came out to drop off unwanted and expired prescription medications and vaping devices at more than 320 locations in the area. The items were then destroyed for safe disposal.

The DEA Washington Division reports having collected a total of 37,305 pounds of medication in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – slightly more than the amount collected from the last Drug Take Back Day in April 2019.

“The opioid and drug crisis has affected almost every family in our country. It’s devastating and we’ve made a lot of noteworthy progress, but we are not finished yet,” said Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Washington Division Jesse R. Fong. “We are committed to fighting the drug epidemic across the area, and the tremendous results of this last Take Back Day, across our area, is a great example of that.”

Virginia led the way with 24,058 pounds, Maryland came in second at 12,238 pounds (a record amount of collections for this year), and the District of Columbia at 1,009 pounds.

Of particular note, one location in Howard County, run by HC DrugFree and DEA Washington Division outreach partners, collected a record 1,262 pounds of unwanted and expired over-the-counter and prescription medicines, in the four hours they were open.

Nationwide, Americans showed their strong support for the DEA’s 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by dropping off nearly 883,000 pounds of medications during the October 26, 2019 Take Back event. The 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 the DEA and our community partners at 6,174 collection sites nationwide, including 135 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites. Since 2017 the DEA has collected nearly 5.5 million pounds of medications.

Special Agent in Charge Fong and the DEA Washington Division would like to extend a special thanks the hundreds of law enforcement partners across Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, along with all of our local community partners who assisted in this remarkable event.

The DEA Washington Division has worked with numerous law enforcement partners to help resource and facilitate permanent drop-off sites for unwanted or expired prescription medications across almost every county in Maryland, Virginia, and across D.C. Please inquire with your local police municipalities for the most up-to-date list of permanent drop-off sites near you.

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Complete results for DEA’s spring Take Back Day are available at www.DEATakeBack.com.  The DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 25, 2020.

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