17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 9.9 million Americans over the age of 12 had misused controlled prescription drugs in the past year. Shockingly, Over 50 percent of the abused drugs were obtained from friends or family, often from the home medicine cabinet.  In an effort to address the prescription drug problem, The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has scheduled its 17th National Take Back Day for Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Blue and white prescription pills

This nationwide event provides a safe and convenient way for Americans to anonymously turn in unwanted, unused or expired medication for safe disposal. This includes pills, tablets, capsules, and other medications. Additionally, The DEA will be accepting vaping devices and cartridges.

The event also is also an opportunity to educate the general public on proper drug disposal and the potential for diversion, misuse, and abuse of medicines that remain in the home. Throwing away or flushing unused or expired drugs is not an effective means of disposal. Drugs thrown in the trash can be abused or illegally sold, and flushed drugs contaminate the water supply. Taking drugs to a DEA approved collection site is the best way to dispose of them.

Over six thousand collection sites across the country are participating in this weekend’s event. The Collection Site Finder on the DEA’s website can be used to find facilities by zip code, county, city, and state.

Those with unused or expired medicines who are unable to participate in the event, can find a permanent collection site, or follow the DEA’s suggested disposal procedure.