On the heels of largest collection to-date, federal, state and local partners prepare for April event
San Diego CA— With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced its 20th Take Back Day scheduled for April 24. At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
“Every day, unused medications find a new home – whether they’re lost, stolen or misplaced – when they are not cared for responsibly,” said John W. Callery, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA San Diego Field Division. “These medications can become deadly poisons in the wrong hands. You have the power to make a difference and protect yourself and your loved ones from potential addiction and overdose. Return your unused, unwanted, and expired medications on April 24th between 10am – 2pm at one of our drop-off sites across San Diego and Imperial counties.”
The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement. Sites will be announced soon.
DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths. Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.