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DEA Schedules Annual Take-Back Date

July 28, 2015
Save the date, September 26th will be the DEA's Annual Take Back Prescription Medication Day.

Many patients don't know what to do with their unused medications. It may no longer be safe for them to leave their prescription in their medicine cabinet, in easy reach of visitors or family members. The annual Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Take-Back Day gives patients an opportunity to safely dispose of their old or unused medications, including opioids.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” said Chuck Rosenberg, DEA Acting Administrator. 

The rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are well know to pain practitions. But what might not be as well recognized are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. "Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet," sated a press release from the DEA. In addition, "many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away—both potential safety and health hazards."

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of unwanted medication were collected.

In October 9, 2014, the DEA has announced that they will allow consumers to drop-off unused prescription medications like controlled substances, including opioid, to their local pharmacies. This gives patients another avenue for safely disposing of their medications.

For more information, the DEA is providing information about collection sites in every local community ( This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.

Last updated on: July 28, 2015
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DEA Allows Return of Unused Prescriptions to Pharmacies