Record Amount Collected in Latest Rx Take Back Day

The Oct. 28 national event collected 456 tons of pills. "More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen," DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it collected a record amount of unused prescription medicines during its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 28. DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners collected 456 tons of "potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at more than 5,300 collection sites," according to the agency -- a total almost six tons above what was collected at the previous event last spring.

The total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA in these events since fall 2010 is 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons.

This is the eighth year National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events have been held to remove opioids and other medicines from the nation's homes.

"In the midst of the worst drug crisis in American history, drug abuse prevention has never been more important," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, "and at the Department of Justice, it's what we do every day. By taking dangerous drugs off of our streets, we keep addiction from spreading. One of the most important ways we do that is through the DEA's semi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back Days. The latest Take Back day was the most successful yet, safely disposing of a record amounts of drugs. I have no doubt that will save lives. At a time like this, this event is having more of an impact than ever. I want to thank all of our local law enforcement partners who helped at all 5,300 collection sites to make this possible—and everyone who participated. They're helping us end this crisis, one pill at a time."

"More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen," DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson said. "This is a crisis that must be addressed from multiple angles. Educating the public and removing these medications from households across the Unites States prevents misuse where it often starts."

This year, DEA worked with tribal law enforcement partners to set up 115 collection sites on tribal lands.

DEA's next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.

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