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Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet: It’s Prescription Drug “Take Back Day”

Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine safely on October, 24, 2020

On Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Location information is available from the DEA. These sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches, and this service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

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This October’s event is DEA’s 19th nationwide event since its inception 10 years ago. Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,200 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 from its state and local law enforcement partners. DEA and its partners have collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.


“The abuse of opioids and prescription drugs is at an all-time high in our country. Help us by working together with our law enforcement partners by cleaning out cabinets and disposing of unwanted medicines year round,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.

“With America in the grips of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’re seeing an alarming rise in overdose deaths,” said Special Agent in Charge Todd Scott, head of DEA’s Louisville Division. “There’s never been a more important time to rid our homes of medicines we’re not using and keep them away from those who might abuse or misuse them.”

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. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long. For more information, visit DEA’s year-round collection site locator.

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