Washington, DC – After collecting and destroying 5.5 million pounds -2,762 tons- of unused prescription drugs in the past 5 years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is continuing its efforts to take back unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications. The DEA invites the public to bring their potentially dangerous, unwanted medicines to one of over 5,000 collection sites around the country that are manned by more than 3,800 of DEA’s tribal and local law enforcement partners this Saturday, April 30th, from 10 am-2 pm local time. This service is free of charge, with no questions asked.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and entering their zip code into the search window, or they can call 800-882-9539. Only pills and other solids, like patches, will be accepted—the public should not bring liquids, needles or other sharps to take back sites.
America is presently experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers. 6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined.
“Most prescription drug abusers get their pills from friends and family, including from the household medicine cabinet,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “Please remove unwanted prescription drugs from your homes and help prevent substance abuse fueled by our medicine cabinets.”
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The removal from homes of unwanted prescription pills that can be abused, stolen or resold is an easy way to help fight the epidemic of substance abuse and addiction.