Drop off unwanted prescription drugs on April 24 for Drug Take Back Day

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Mich. (PRESS RELEASE/WJMN) – The 20th National Prescription Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, April 24 this year.

The Drug Enforcement Administration collected a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications last year, with the public turning in close to 500 tons. In the last 10 years, the DEA has brought more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.

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 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period.

The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

“The main goal of this program is to collect and give the people the opportunity to turn in their unused and unwanted prescription drugs,” said Steve VerDow, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA Grand Rapids. “And it’s very evident because just over the last, especially the last ten years, of the huge issue of the opioid epidemic and the number of overdoses and everything, and how a lot these drugs, unused prescription drugs, especially opioids, are the ones that fueled this. Especially at the beginning of this epidemic and continues to cause a lot of problems of a lot of people.”

Studies have indicted that the majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

“Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to
reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths,” said DEA Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge
Keith Martin. “Take Back Day is not only a great opportunity to rid your home of unused medication,
but is also a time to have important conversations about proper use and storage of prescription
medication.”

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids
(including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted.
DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium
batteries are removed.

To find a collection site near you, click here to visit the DEA’s website.

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