TENNESSEE, USA — The DEA said communities across the country safely disposed of more than 647,000 pounds of unneeded medications at nearly 5,000 collection sites on Oct. 29, during its bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Across the Louisville Division, which covers Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, over 34,000 pounds of medications were collected at sites located across the three-state region, according to the DEA. Tennessee collected the most, with 18,492 pounds; followed by Kentucky, with 11,348 pounds; and West Virginia with 4,561 pounds.
“The Take Back campaign is part of DEA’s continued efforts to protect our communities and create healthier environments by offering the safe disposal of medications,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said. “We appreciate the community support we see during these events and encourage everyone to remove unneeded medications from their home.”
The DEA said it continues to expand opportunities to make safe disposal of medications more accessible nationwide and announced it has registered a record number of authorized collectors – pharmacies and medical facilities – to collect unused and unwanted prescription drugs year-round.
“We collected a lot more across the division than we did this past spring and that’s important at a time when Americans are dying from drug poisonings in record numbers,” Louisville Division Special Agent in Charge Todd Scott said. "I want to thank everyone throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia who supported DEA’s prescription drug take back effort by safely disposing of their expired and unneeded medications and keeping them off the streets.”
Since April 2017, the DEA said it increased the number of authorized collectors from more than 2,200 to 15,000. A list of permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country can be found here.
Safe medication disposal receptacles along with DEA Take Back events provide families easy, no-cost opportunities to get rid of unnecessary medicines stored in the home that can be susceptible to abuse and theft, according to a release.
The complete results for DEA’s fall National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available on its website.
Since its inception in 2010, the DEA said its National Prescription Take Back Day has removed almost 17 million pounds of unneeded medications from communities across the country.