The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will hold the 24th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to gather unwanted, old or expired medication for safe disposal, on April 22. According to the agency’s website, this event aims to prevent the circulation of unused prescription drugs that could potentially harm American citizens.
The event will be held from 10am to 2pm, according to local time zones. The agency usually hosts this program on the last Saturday of April and October. The DEA will be collecting tablets, capsules, patches, and other types of prescription drugs for safe disposal, while also accepting vaping equipment and cartridges once the batteries are removed from these devices. The assigned sites will also not collect syringes, sharps, and illicit drugs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between August 2021 and August 2022, 107,735 US Americans lost their lives to drug poisoning. In a press release, Anne Milgram, a DEA administrator, said, “’[The] National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is one of the ways we can help prevent addiction and deaths from opioids.” In October 2022, at an event held by the DEA and its partners, the Seattle Field Division alone collected 22,000 pounds of unneeded prescription medication.
Such events are being held as US officials are pushed to take action to reduce prescription drug. Recently, the FDA announced a requirement for opioid analgesics manufacturers to make prepaid mail-back envelopes available to outpatient pharmacies and other dispensers. This will act as another safe disposal option for these drugs.
In a press release, acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Jersey Division Daniel J. Kafafian said, “Removing these unneeded medications from the home can remove the temptation to experiment with these pills.” On the DEA website, a location finder and partner toolbox can help people find their closest collection sites out of the 4000 drop off locations nationwide.