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Rx for Action

A blog devoted to helping people find local medicine take-back programs and highlighting current research findings and pending legislation.

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DEA Drug Take-back Days Are Back

When the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced last September that they would no longer be hosting the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, some communities were left wondering how they would be able to keep collecting unused medications for proper disposal. Those communities can now breathe a big sigh of relief. The DEA recently announced that they are going to reinstate the National Prescription Drug Take-back Days.

The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Police departments around the country will be working with local organizations to host the event from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. They will accept controlled, non-controlled, and over the counter medications. Small quantities of liquids will be accepted, but not sharps or needles. As in the past, this event is for households only—medications from businesses such as hospitals, doctor's offices or veterinarian offices are not allowed. Once the date gets closer, the DEA will post the locations of the collection sites.

The goal of the program is to reduce drug diversion, but it also helps to limit the impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment. The DEA has been successful in working towards this goal over the past five years—collecting more than 4.8 millions pounds of unwanted medicine with the assistance of its community partners. Communities that wish to participate in the 10th event to be held this fall will need to have their local law enforcement office register with the DEA. The DEA contact person is Sandra Kitchen and she can be reached at (314) 538-4861 or

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) has been helping communities set up medicine take-back programs for more than nine years. While the DEA Take-Back Days are a great resource for communities, there are other options available as well. For example, there are law enforcement-based programs such as the P2D2 program, pharmacy-based programs such as the Yellow Jug Old Drugs program, and for-profit programs such as Sharps Compliance, Inc., which offers the MEDSAFE® program and the mail-back envelop program Takeaway Medication Recovery SystemTM. There are other companies that provide these services as well. When it comes to medicine take-back programs, it isn't as easy as one size fits all. Communities in Illinois and Indiana that are looking to start new medicine take-back programs and trying to understand what their options are can contact Laura Kammin at 217-333-1115 or for assistance in getting started.



Image courtesy of DEA.

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Posted by Laura Kammin at 4:41PM on 7/15/2015
Categories: Collection Programs In the News Resources Single-day Events