National Take-Back Day Is April 29

 In Drug Testing

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Agency is holding its next prescription drug take-back day, its thirteenth such event in seven years. The goal of take-back programs is to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take-Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.

Take-back programs address a 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 U.S. are alarmingly high, as 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. Old methods for disposing of unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety, health, and environmental hazards.

In addition to this federal twice-yearly program, Cordant offers an ongoing take-back program that has already removed more than 53 pounds, or an estimated 48,000 doses, of unwanted medications in its first nine months. Patients simply pick up take-back envelopes at their provider’s office and mail their unneeded or expired medicines at their convenience to a secure and compliant disposal facility.

For more information on the DEA’s upcoming take-back initiative, click here:

For more information on Cordant’s prescription drug take-back program, click here:


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