DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Day Removes Almost 600,000 Pounds of Unneeded Prescription Medications Across the Country

HC DrugFree is proud to partner with the DEA and the Howard County Police Department for our twice a year medication and sharps collection event. On October 28, 2023 we collected 1,223.5 lbs. of medication at the HC DrugFree site in the Wilde Lake Village Center. Below is an excerpt of the press release from the DEA outlining the National numbers, as well as the impact of this important community event.

WASHINGTON – On October 28, 2023, the community once again emptied their medicine cabinets to help dispose of old, unwanted, and expired medications. Nationwide, DEA and its law enforcement partners collected 599,897 pounds of unneeded medications at 4,675 collection sites nationwide.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Take Back Day has removed almost 17.9 million pounds of unneeded medications from communities across the country. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who use 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.

DEA continues to expand opportunities to make safe disposal of medications more accessible nationwide. We encourage people to remove unnecessary medications from their home regularly and dispose of it at one of the nearly 17,000 permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. Those locations 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.

Complete results for DEA’s spring National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available at Take Back Day (


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