WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 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.
For more than a decade, DEA has worked with state and local law enforcement partners to host National Prescription Drug Take Back Days each year to help Americans rid their homes of unneeded medications. The Take Back program has received an overwhelming response from communities across the country.
In 2023, DEA collected more than 1.2 million pounds of unneeded medications at more than 4,600 sites nationwide during its two one-day events.
Operation UNITE is a regular participant in the twice-yearly Take Back Day events, having collected more than 58,833 pounds of unwanted or expired medications. Typically, UNITE is responsible for about one-third of Kentucky’s total each Take Back Day.
In addition, UNITE maintains 48 medication drop boxes for citizens to utilize throughout the year. These boxes provide the public an easy, no-cost opportunity to anonymously dispose of medications that are no longer needed.
Because UNITE is not a “registered agent” with the DEA because it does not dispense drugs, UNITE’s drop boxes are not listed among the 17,000 pharmacies in the United States listed in the DEA’s on-line locator (link below). If you are in southern or eastern Kentucky, simply click here to find a list of UNITE’s medication drop box locations.
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 (SAMHSA), 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.
“DEA has worked closely with the registrant community to dramatically increase the number of permanent disposal sites accessible to Americans. As a result, members of the public can now go to any one of 17,000 pharmacies across the nation to dispose of unused prescription medications any day of the year,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of these collection sites and make every day Take Back Day.”
Make Every Day Take Back Day by visiting our 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.