"Don't Be the Dealer," DEA's National RX Take Back Day slogan.

National Rx Takeback Day is Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (all time zones). Almost 11,000 nationwide locations will be available for free, safe, and anonymous dropoff for any unused and expired prescription drugs. In October 2020, the DEA collected a total weight: 985,392 lbs. (492.7 tons). Since its inception in 2010, the DEA and law enforcement partners have received 13.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions.  

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health*:

  • 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers
  • 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants
  • 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives

*This survey notes that the majority of these misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends' medicine cabinets.

The United States Attorney Prim F. Escalona encourages all to participate saying, “Let’s do our part to protect our loved ones by disposing of those unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs in our possession. It is the easiest and most effective thing we can do to combat the national opioid epidemic.”

Check the DEA National RX Tabe Back website to find the location nearest you on April 24. Locations accept the following: prescription drugs, including opioids, vaping devices, and cartridges. They do not accept needles, sharps, or liquids of any kind. If you miss Saturday, this is a biannual occurrence in April and October, however, there are year-round disposal sites available (check with your local pharmacy). Also, check out How to Properly Dispose of Your Unused Medicines

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 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (September 1, 2019, to September 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. If you need help or treatment services, please contact SAMHSA at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Do you biannually participate in Take Back Day? Share in the comments.