DEA taking back unused prescription drugs Oct. 24, 2020

BILLINGS – U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme will join the Drug Enforcement Administration in support of the 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24. The biannual event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at sites across Montana. The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. 

“Getting rid of unneeded and expired prescription drugs is an important step Montanans can take to stop opioid abuse and addiction. The primary way opioid abusers first get pills is from family and friends. The DEA Take Back event is a great way to safely clean out medicine cabinets,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.

“We encourage all Montanans to drop off their unused prescriptions to the National Take Back sites in their communities. Individuals can drive up and drop off their prescriptions without getting out of their cars,” said DEA Montana Resident Agent in Charge Stacy Zinn-Brittain.

Last fall, Americans across the country turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010, DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications.

During the October 2019 event, Montanans turned in 1,720 pounds of prescription drugs at 26 collection sites.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drugs abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long. For more information, visit DEA’s year-round collection site locator.

The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available here: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 24 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

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