National Drug Take-Back Day Is October 28

On Saturday, Oct 28, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Agency is holding its next prescription drug take-back day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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 and open to everyone.

In April, Americans turned in 450 tons (over 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and its more than 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, the DEA and its partners have taken in approximately 3,950 tons—or almost 8 million pounds—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. Appropriate disposal of unused medicines protects both lives and the environment.

In addition to this federal twice-yearly program, Cordant offers an ongoing take-back program that has already removed more than 75 pounds or an estimated 69,000 pills, of unwanted medications in its year. 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, including a collection site locator, click here: