Washington, DC – The Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced that it will host its 25th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event offers anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,500 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.
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.
In partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 8,650 tons of medication from circulation since its inception.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Collection sites will not accept syringes, sharps, and illicit drugs. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container. The cap must be tightly sealed to prevent leakage.
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.