DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine safely on October 23, 2021

KNOXVILLE, TE (STL.News) On Saturday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Location information is available from the DEA, along with items that cannot be accepted.  This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This October’s event is DEA’s 21st nationwide event since its inception 11 years ago.  Last spring, Americans turned in nearly 839,543 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 5,060 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 from its state and local law enforcement partners.  DEA and its partners have collected nearly 6,770 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.

The DEA will now accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop-off locations during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium-ion batteries.  If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium-ion batteries.  Concerns have been raised across the United States over illnesses and deaths caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates.  To support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially among America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow CDC COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

The DEA’s “Take Back” day and “Get Smart About Drugs” initiatives address the vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs.  Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, are the primary driver of the increase in overdose deaths.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long.  Participating in the next DEA Take Back Day on Saturday, October 23, simply means cleaning out your medicine cabinet or anywhere you keep unused, unwanted, or expired medications and dropping them off at your nearest collection site.

The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs.