On Saturday, September 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local authorities across the nation will provide the public its ninth national opportunity in four years to rid homes and other storage places of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. To find a collection site near you, visit the DEA’s National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search.
During the last take-back event in April, Americans turned in 390 tons of unwanted or expired medications at the 6,072 collection sites operated by DEA and its 4,423 state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners. Added to the amount from the seven previous DEA take-back events, that made a total of 2,123 tons – nearly 10 times the weight of the Statue of Liberty – of unwanted or expired medications that had been collected through these national events.
The take-back event is only for prescription holders, end users, and clients to drop off unwanted pills and patches that were prescribed for humans or animals. Veterinarians and other DEA registrants are not allowed to dispose of their controlled substances inventory or expired stock through the take back programs, but must continue to follow the DEA registrant drug disposal regulations. The good news is that the DEA has amended the regulations so that proper disposal of controlled substances will become easier October 9.