The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day resulted in the collection of 985,392 pounds of prescription drugs.
The amount is the largest in the program’s 10-year history, bringing the program’s total to nearly 13.7 million pounds.
“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,” Timothy Shea, DEA acting administrator, said. “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.”
Nationwide, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The majority of the drugs were obtained from the home medicine cabinet.
Year-round drug disposal is available at 11,000 DEA authorized collectors nationwide. The DEA encourages people to contact local law enforcement for the location of these collectors.
Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency offer guidelines for the safe disposal of drugs at home.