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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday April 28, 2018

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Kathleen M. McGettigan, Acting Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
James W. Carroll, Acting Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday April 28, 2018

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in partnership with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, invites all Federal employees and their friends and families to participate in the National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Individuals wishing to dispose of their medications safely and anonymously can find a collection location at:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic, with more people dying from drug overdoses than in motor vehicle crashes.  In 2016 alone, 42,249 people died from overdoses involving some type of opioid. A paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association studied past research on medical trials and found that 42% to 71% of opioids prescribed for acute post-surgical pain were not consumed, at least 67% of patients had leftover medicine, and no more than 9% of the patients with leftover medicine disposed of it properly.*  These statistics show the value of proper prescription drug disposal as a key strategy for potentially preventing prescription drug abuse. 

Americans participating in the DEA’s 14th National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on October 28, 2017, turned in 912,305 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at 5,321 take-back sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  Consequently, as of October 28, 2017, this brought the total amount of drugs collected for disposal by this program to 9,015,668 pounds or 4,508 tons.  

We encourage you to join this commitment to improving public health and safety by participating and inviting others – friends, family, and neighbors – to take part in the 15th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

* Mark C. Bicket, MD; Jane J. Long, BS; Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD; G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS; Christopher L.Wu, MD;  “ Prescription Opioid Analgesics Commonly Unused After Surgery Review”, Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA Surgery, (2017), pages E1-E6.