WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2023—The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and its 4,383 law enforcement partners collected 599,897 pounds (or 300 tons) of unneeded medications at 4,675 collection sites nationwide on October 28, 2023, for its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Locally, the Washington state division collected 5,428 pounds between 77 collection sites. Over the last 25 years, the Washington state division has collected 326,662 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs.
For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Take Back Day has removed almost 17.9 million pounds of unneeded medications from communities across the country. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who use prescription medication for a nonmedical purpose obtained that medication from a family member or friend. Removing unnecessary medications from the home can help prevent situations involving; not taking medication as intended or dosed; taking someone else’s prescription; and taking the medicine for euphoric effects rather than medicinal purposes.
“We want to thank those who came out for our 25th Take Back Day,” said Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley. “Participation alone demonstrates how invaluable the bi-annual event has become for communities. This fall, we removed more than 18 tons of unneeded medication from homes across Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.”
The DEA continues to expand opportunities to make safe disposal of medications more accessible nationwide. We encourage people to remove unnecessary medications from their home regularly and dispose of it at one of the nearly 17,000 permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. Those locations can be found here. Safe medication disposal receptacles along with DEA Take Back events provide families easy, no-cost opportunities to get rid of unnecessary medicines stored in the home.
Complete results for DEA’s fall National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available at https://www.dea.gov/takebackday.