DEA removed nearly 600,000 pounds of prescription meds on TakeBack day; urges continued disposal

Northern Kentucky Tribune

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced its fall National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 28 removed nearly 600,000 pounds of unneeded prescription medication across the country.

The DEA’s Louisville Field Division, which covers Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, collected more than 34,000 pounds between 256 sites. Tennessee collected the most in the division, with 20,221 pounds; followed by Kentucky, with 9,930 pounds; and West Virginia, with 4,326 pounds.

The amount collected in Kentucky was nearly 1,300 pounds more than the April Drug Take Back Day, but well below the 11,994 pounds collected in October 2022.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Take Back Day has removed almost 17.9 million pounds of unneeded medications from communities across the country.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, people who use prescription medication for a nonmedical purpose obtained that medication from a family member or friend. Removing unnecessary medications from the home can help prevent situations involving not taking medication as intended or dosed, taking someone else’s prescription, and taking the medicine for euphoric effects rather than medicinal purposes.

“Across the Louisville Field Division, we had an increase in the amount of medication that we collected since our last take back day, and I want to thank everyone who participated in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia,” said Louisville Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott. “Getting unneeded medications out of our homes is an easy and important step toward safer communities.

The DEA continues to expand opportunities to make safe disposal of medications more accessible nationwide. They say they encourage people to remove unnecessary medications from their home regularly, and dispose of it at one of the nearly 17,000 permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. Those locations can be found here . Safe medication disposal receptacles along with DEA Take Back events provide families easy, no-cost opportunities to get rid of unnecessary medicines stored in the home.

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