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Promoting safe prescription drug disposal with National Drug Take-Back Day

By Regence | April 28, 2017

On Saturday, April 29, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is holding its 13th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, providing the public with a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired medications at no cost.

This initiative prevents pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. You can find a location near you using the DEA’s site locator tool.

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, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take-Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.

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