The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has launched a new campaign encouraging the public to Make Every Day Take Back Day by utilizing year-round collection sites to dispose of unneeded and unwanted medications.
The DEA has registered a record 17,000 pharmacies nationwide, including 1,106 within the five state DEA Omaha Division, as authorized collectors to help Americans dispose of unused prescription drugs any day of the year. These safe disposal receptacles, in addition to DEA’s annual Take Back Day events, provide the public with an easy, no-cost opportunity to anonymously dispose of medications that are no longer needed.
“We are truly grateful for the registrants hosting these year-round collection sites within our Midwestern communities,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Steven T. Bell said. “This is a tremendous example of communities working together to help remove the temptation to experiment from medicine cabinets across the country.”
For more than a decade, the DEA has worked with state and local law enforcement partners to host National Prescription Drug Take Back Days that allow Americans an opportunity to rid their homes of unneeded medications. The Take Back program has received an overwhelming response from communities across the country. In 2023, the DEA Omaha Division collected nearly 31,000 pounds of unneeded medications at more than 350 sites during two, one-day events.
Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unwanted or expired medications. These medications can be a gateway to addiction and have helped fuel the opioid epidemic. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who use a prescription medication for a nonmedical purpose obtained that medication from a family member or friend. Removing unnecessary medications from the home can help prevent situations involving not taking medication as intended or dosed; taking someone else’s prescription; and taking the medicine for euphoric effects rather than medicinal purposes.
Help Make Every Day Take Back Day and use the locator site to find a pharmacy, hospital or business with a DEA-registered year-round collection near you. In addition, many local police departments provide year-round drug disposal boxes.