DEA to hold second National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, April 30th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, DEA and its community partners will hold the second National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at sites throughout the United States. This will be an opportunity for the public to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal. Long-term care facilities are also invited to participate in the National Take Back Day. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Prescription drugs are being misused and abused at alarming rates in the U.S — more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. As rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, so are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

You can help make this Take Back Day a success by sharing information about the program with your membership, partner organizations, and others who are concerned about prescription drug abuse. You can find a nearby collection site by visiting , or and clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon and following the links to a database, where you can enter your local zip code. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call 1-800-882-9539 for assistance in finding a collection site near you.

In addition, if you are interested in having a take back event in your community, contact your local police or sheriff’s office to see if they are interested in operating a collection site in your area. Law enforcement agencies interested in operating a collection site can register with the DEA by calling the DEA Field Division office in their area. To see each division office’s geographic area of responsibility, go to  and click on the “Office Locations” link under “About Us” in the menu on the left side of the homepage. You can go to to download materials to help you promote your local event.

Thank you in advance for any support you or your organization can provide for this important event. If you have any questions, or need additional information, please call DEA at 202-307-7936.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website.

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