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DEA and Partners Collect a Record Amount of Unwanted Medications During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

DEA brings in nearly a million pounds of prescription medications.

Posted: Nov 2, 2020 11:37 AM

NEW ORLEANS – DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day brought in nearly a million pounds of unused, expired, and unwanted medications across the country, the largest amount ever collected in the program’s ten years. Americans once again showed their dedication to remove prescription pills from their homes to prevent addiction before it starts. DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 13.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 24, the public turned in 985,392 pounds – almost 493 tons – of medication to DEA and 4,153 of its community partners at 4,587 collection sites nationwide, including 33 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites. DEA’s New Orleans Field Division (NOFD), which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, collected 60,167 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at collection sites throughout the division. The amounts collected for each state within the NOFD was the following: Louisiana – 5,535 pounds; Mississippi – 8,222
pounds; Alabama– 7,411 pounds; and Arkansas – 39,000 pounds. “This year’s event, with a record - setting 493 -ton collection, is a sure sign that DEA’s Take Back Day events continue to provide a vital public service that keeps loved ones safe — an opportunity to rid homes of potentially dangerous unused, expired, and unwanted medications,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea. “Every day is Take Back Day and we encourage the public to continue to address this urgent safety and public health issue by using the
thousands of existing drop - off locations throughout the year.” DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley said, “Prescription medications frequently end up in the wrong hands, feeding an epidemic that is killing over a hundred people a day. Residents in
the four - state region of the New Orleans Field Division took a critical step in reducing the risk of prescription drug diversion and
abuse by turning in over 60,000 pounds of medications – a record - setting amount. DEA thanks the citizens in these areas – including our law enforcement and community partners- for their tremendous support in this important event.” In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, safe and secure drug disposal continues to be available at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors throughout the year. For more information, visit: https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1. Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home. DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community. Complete results for DEA’s 2020 October Take Back Day are available at www.deatakeback.com. Photos and video from Take Back Day are available at https://www.flickr.com/gp/190205961@N07/hbL64G.

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