DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Removes Almost 600,000 Pounds of Unneeded Prescription Medications Across the Country
NEWARK, NJ – On Oct. 28, 2023, the community once again emptied their medicine cabinets to help dispose of old, unwanted, and expired medications. Nationwide, DEA and its law enforcement partners collected 599,897 pounds of unneeded medications at 4,675 collection sites nationwide.
Locally, the New Jersey Field Division collected 14,459 pounds between 240 number of sites.
For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Take Back Day has removed almost 17.9 million pounds of unneeded medications from communities across the country. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who use prescription medication for a nonmedical purpose obtained that medication from a family member or friend. Removing unnecessary medications from the home can help prevent situations involving; not taking medication as intended or dosed; taking someone else’s prescription; and taking the medicine for euphoric effects rather than medicinal purposes.
“Removing these unneeded medications from the home can remove the temptation to experiment with these pills,” said Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Jersey Division Cheryl Ortiz “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. DEA Lab analysis of these seized pills have found that 7 out of every 10 pills seized contains a possibly lethal dose of fentanyl so removing these unneeded medications from your home could help keep your family safe.”
DEA continues to expand opportunities to make safe disposal of medications more accessible nationwide. We encourage people to remove unnecessary medications from their home regularly and dispose of it at one of the nearly 17,000 permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. Those locations can be found here. Safe medication disposal receptacles along with DEA Take Back events provide families easy, no-cost opportunities to get rid of unnecessary medicines stored in the home.
Complete results for DEA’s Fall National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available at Take Back Day (dea.gov).