Mark Your Calendar: DEA Announces Fall Date for Next National Rx Drug Take-Back Day
The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held on September 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a
safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public
about the potential for abuse of medications. Collection sites will be announced on September 1, the DEA said.
During the ninth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last September, DEA and its partners collected 209 tons of pills.
That brought the total amount of drugs collected over four years to 2,411 tons, or 4,823,251 pounds. According to
the DEA, unused prescription medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they can be
accidentally ingested, stolen, misused, and abused.
When the DEA began hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back events, the Controlled Substances Act made no
legal provision for patients and their caregivers to rid themselves of unwanted controlled substance prescription
drugs except to give them to law enforcement. The law banned pharmacies and hospitals from accepting them.
most people flushed their unused prescription drugs down the toilet, threw them in the trash, or kept them in the
household medicine cabinet. This led to a contamination of the water supply and the theft and abuse of the
prescription drugs, the DEA noted.
Last September, the DEA announced it would allow unused narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin to be returned to
pharmacies. Consumers are also permitted to mail unused prescription medications to an authorized collector, in
packages that are available at pharmacies and locations including senior centers and libraries. The new regulations
are designed to curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic, the DEA said.
NCPIE encourages healthcare professionals and community groups to foster patient–professional communication about medicines. However, NCPIE does not supervise or endorse the activities of any group or professional. Discussion and action concerning medicines are solely the responsibility of the patient and their healthcare professionals, and not NCPIE.
Please consult a licensed health care professional with questions or concerns about your medication and/or condition.