National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to Remove Unneeded Prescriptions, Prevent Addiction
NEWARK, N.J. – The Drug Enforcement Administration will host its 24th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event offers anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.
For more than a decade, Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or expired. These medications can be a gateway to addiction, and have helped fuel the opioid epidemic. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who use a prescription medication for a nonmedical purpose obtained that medication from a family member or friend.
“Every day, the men and women of the DEA work to protect Americans from deadly drugs and drug poisonings,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is one of the ways we can help prevent addiction and deaths from opioids.”
“Removing these unneeded medications from the home can remove the temptation to experiment with these pills,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Jersey Division Daniel J. Kafafian. “Many times addiction to prescription opioids leads to individuals looking to purchase these pills on the street. Mexican drug cartels take advantage of this fact by pressing deadly fentanyl powder into fake pills to mimic legitimate prescription opioids and other pills. Remove these unneeded medications from your home to keep your family safe.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, 107,735 American lives were lost to drug poisoning between August 2021 and August 2022.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other forms of prescription drugs. Collection sites will not accept syringes, sharps, and illicit drugs. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain tightly sealed in their original container. The event will also continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.
A location finder and partner toolbox are available at www.DEATakeBack.com for easy reference to nearby collection sites. Beyond DEA’s Take Back Day, there are also opportunities to regularly and safely dispose of unneeded medications at close to 15,000 pharmacies, hospitals, and businesses working to help clean out medicine cabinets throughout the year. In addition, many police departments provide year-round drop boxes.