DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Seizes Almost 300 Tons of Medications Throughout U.S., Approximately 15% of Medications from Maryland and Washington DC

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day


On October 28, 2023, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hosted its 25th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, encouraging citizens to discard unwanted, unused and/or expired medications. We are pleased to share that the DEA collected almost 600,000 pounds of medications, which ultimately aids in our nation’s public safety mission. Of the total collected, local impacts included 10,599 and 602 pounds being seized from Maryland and DC, roughly 5.6 tons of medications coming from our local communities.

The results of this event were remarkable, with credit due to 4,675 collection sites available throughout the country, 4,383 law enforcement officials participating, and a total of 599,897 lbs. (equaling almost 300 tons) of medication safely turned over to the DEA. Since this campaign launched in 2010, a total of 17.9 million pounds of medications, approximately 8,950 tons, have been collected and safely disposed of.

“The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a clear and present public health, public safety, and national security threat,” according to the DEA’s Take Back Day mission. “DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.”

Reducing overdoses, and overdose fatalities, is a priority for the DEA and the agency’s commitment to public health and safety. The initiative of this bi-annual national event appreciates communities stepping up to dispose of unneeded medications, preventing potentially harmful situations if these drugs make it into the wrong hands.

“DEA continues to expand opportunities to make safe disposal of medications more accessible nationwide,” stated in a recent press release by the DEA. “We encourage people to remove unnecessary medications from their home regularly and dispose of it at one of the nearly 17,000 permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. Those locations can be found here. Safe medication disposal receptacles along with DEA Take Back events provide families easy, no-cost opportunities to get rid of unnecessary medicines stored in the home.”

Visit the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day page for more information about disposal site locations and details on the next event.


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