National Prescription Drug TakeBack Day

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In 2021 alone, approximately 16,700 people died from overdosing on household prescription opioids.

All too often, unused and leftover prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands – with dangerous and even tragic consequences. On National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, people are encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of their unused, expired, or unneeded prescription medications.

National Prescription Drug Takeback Day is a program held in the United States twice annually, organized by the Diversion Control Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It’s an initiative aimed at providing a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the wider public about the abuse potential of prescription medications.

These “Take-back events” are typically held at designated public locations nationwide, such as community centers, pharmacies, and local police stations. These locations all have secure drop-off points where people can toss their unwanted or expired medications. The goal is to prevent the diversion and abuse of legal prescription drugs, specifically by limiting the availability of common unused medications in regular households.

Safe prescription drug disposal is important because it reduces the risk of seemingly innocent household drugs from falling into the wrong hands. As an aside, proper disposal of prescription drugs helps prevent the environmental pollution that occurs when medications are flushed down the toilet or thrown into the trash.

Last year’s October National Takeback Day yielded 599,897 lbs. (300 tons) of prescription medications!


This year, National Prescription Drug Takeback Day will be held on Saturday, April 27th, 2024, between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. To find a safe disposal site near you or learn more about the DEA’s other initiatives, please visit

Together, we can help make America a safer place!

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