National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 24, 2020

(STL.News) – United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office are teaming up to publicize the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day being held in Maryland and across the country on Saturday, October 24.  The service is free and anonymous.  Maryland has approximately 100 available sites.  The public can find a nearby collection site at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539.  The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs and educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

“Pharmaceutical pills can be just as harmful as illegal drugs when they are used without proper medical supervision and without valid medical need,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a great opportunity to get rid of unused and unneeded prescription drugs and prevent drug abuse and I encourage Marylanders to take advantage of this free and anonymous service.”

“Thousands of Maryland residents die every year due to overdose, with a significant number of those overdose deaths caused by opioids.  Take Back Day provides a vital opportunity for us to fight against the opioid problem here in Maryland,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene.  “By participating in Take Back Day and disposing of unused prescription medication, you may be able to prevent someone from addiction or overdose.”

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes.  Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors at any time throughout the year, and at many local law enforcement agency sites.

DEA and our state and local partners throughout the area will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms.   DEA will also accept vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices.  If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal.  Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off.  This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

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