DEA, partners collect a record amount of unwanted medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Published 10:09 am Monday, November 2, 2020

DETROIT – 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 10 years.

The DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, including partners in Berrien and Cass counties, 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.

“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.”

“Statistics show more people start down the path of drug addiction through the misuse of prescription opioids than any other substance,” said Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin. “Thanks to the work of our many community partners throughout Michigan and Ohio, we have been able to get more than 80,000 pounds of drugs out of home medicine cabinets — eliminating their potential for misuse and accidental poisoning.”

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.