Big Win on Rx Take-Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day 2015 collected over 350 tons of unused, expired or unwanted medications

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh

(RxWiki News) On Sept. 26, thousands of people lined up at designated collection sites across the US to get rid of their unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs.

Sept. 26 was the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, part of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) effort to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands. This year, US patients got rid of more than 350 tons of medication at more than 5,000 collection sites, the DEA reports.

Such efforts can make a real difference, said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

“The numbers are shocking — approximately 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths," Rosenberg said in a press release. "More than half of those are from heroin and prescription opioids. With four out of five new heroin users starting with prescription medications, I know our take-back program makes a real difference.”

In addition to reducing drug abuse, safely disposing of unused, expired, and unwanted prescription drugs can also help prevent accidental ingestion.

Last year's take-back day collected 309 tons of unwanted drugs. In total, the last 10 of these events have brought in 5,525,021 pounds of medications, according to the DEA.

Review Date: 
October 9, 2015
Last Updated:
October 12, 2015