As part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative (NTBI), people will be able to dispose of expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at numerous collection sites around the U.S.
The DEA collected a record amount of meds during the 11th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 30, 2016. According to the DEA’s May 6, 2016 press release, the DEA and over 4,200 of its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons—at almost 5,400 sites spread through all 50 states, beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds.
The top five states with the largest collections, in order, were:
- Texas (almost 40 tons)
- California (32 tons)
- Wisconsin (31 tons)
- Illinois (24 tons)
- Massachusetts (24 tons)
“I am very proud of our state officials and residents,” said Ms. Jennifer Marcum, Sentry BioPharma Services’ chief executive officer. Ms. Marcum continued, “Indiana’s authorities collected 29,125 pounds (14.6 tons). That’s an enormous amount of unwanted prescription drugs and controlled substances to be safely removed from the pharmaceutical supply chain. The statistics best illustrate how much the people of Indiana care about this important matter; no question about it.”
Marcum continued, “During the event, people can anonymously bring unwanted prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to a participating drop-off site for proper drug disposal by law enforcement authorities with no questions asked. The service is free and an ideal way to preserve the environment from pharmaceutical contamination. This is a terrific opportunity to safely dispose of accumulated prescription drugs and medications that may have expired or are simply unwanted.”
The FDA’s Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., offers a few more helpful tips when discarding drugs:
- Scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
- Do not give your medicine to friends. Doctors prescribe medicines based on your specific symptoms and medical history. Something that works for you could harm another person.
- When in doubt about proper drug disposal, ask your pharmacist.
For more information about the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative, general public inquiries can be made by calling the DEA toll free at: 1-800-882-9539.