Americans nationwide have once again shown their strong support for DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by dropping off nearly 883,000 pounds of medications during the October 2019 Take Back event.
DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 12.7 million pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 26, the public turned in 882,919 pounds - almost 442 tons of medication to DEA and 4,896 of its community partners at 6,174 collection sites nationwide, including 135 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites. Since 2017, under this Administration, DEA has collected 5.5 million pounds of medications.
Residents of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska turned in 36,981 pounds (18.5 tons) of prescription medications on October 26, 2019. This is the third highest collection to date for the Pacific Northwest. The following are the results broken down by state:
- Washington - 105 collection sites which resulted in 15,623 pounds (7.8 tons) removed from circulation.
- Idaho - 39 collection sites which resulted in 5,402 pounds (2.7 tons) removed from circulation.
- Oregon - 54 collection sites which resulted in 11,609 pounds (5.8 tons) removed from circulation.
- Alaska - 20 collection sites which resulted in 4,346 pounds (2.2 tons) removed from circulation.
Beginning with October’s campaign, DEA accepted vaping devices and cartridges in addition to medications at all of its drop-off locations. With hundreds of confirmed lung injuries and dozens of deaths attributed to vaping use, DEA is working diligently in our communities and through our outreach efforts to spread the word about the dangers of vaping.
The public has embraced Take Back Day events because they provide easy, no-cost opportunities to remove medicines languishing in the home that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse, and theft. Public demand for safe and secure drug disposal has also resulted in a significant increase in year-round drug drop off boxes at law enforcement facilities, pharmacies, and elsewhere, making drug disposal even more convenient.