Record Number of Pills Collected on Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On October 28, 2017, pharmacies and police stations nationwide participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and received a record number of unused prescription drugs, the DEA announced in a press release.

The event provides an opportunity for the public to dispose of any potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at various collection sites around the country. This year, the public returned a record-setting 912,305 pounds of prescription pills, bringing the total amount of prescription drugs collected by the DEA since 2010 to 9,015,668, or 4508 tons.

As part of this year’s Take Back Day, 4274 law enforcement partners opened 5,321 collection sites for disposal of prescription drugs. The DEA also worked with tribal law enforcement partners to set up 115 collection sites on tribal lands to expand participation of Native American communities.

Unused or expired prescription drugs can potentially lead to accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose. For those who missed Take Back Day, the DEA’s Drug Take Back site allows you to locate an authorized collector in your area.

The DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.


Drug Enforcement Administration collects record number of unused pills as part of its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day [news release]. Washington. DEA’s website. Accessed November 7, 2017.

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