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Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday

On Saturday, local law enforcement agencies will participate in the national Drug Take Back Day with a special event.

The Drug Enforcement Administration will host its 21st National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The DEA, local law enforcement, community and tribal partners throughout the Pacific Northwest will be anonymously collecting expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

This includes 146 collection sites throughout the region.  

Currently there are 18 collection sites in Alaska, 29 collection sites in Idaho, 26 collection sites in Oregon and 73 collection sites in Washington. 

Last April, residents of the Pacific Northwest turned in 36,259 pounds.

“The DEA Drug Take Back is more important than ever and is a great opportunity for citizens of the Pacific Northwest to dispose of their unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medications,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “Properly disposing of these medications will prevent them from falling into the hands of our children. Please help keep our citizens and communities safe by taking the time to responsibly dispose of your unwanted prescription pills during National Drug Take Back Day.”

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that last year, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. Opioid-related deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2020.

The service is free of charge, no questions asked.  

DEA Special Agent In Charge Keith Weis Of The Pacific Northwest Region Emphasized, “All Of Our Northwest Communities Need To Take This Opportunity Of Disposing Unused Prescription Medications In A Safe And Simple Process. This Consciousness Effort May Be Lifesaving.”   

Last month, DEA issued a Public Safety Alert and launched the One Pill Can Kill public awareness campaign to warn Americans of a surge in deadly, fake prescription pills driven by drug traffickers seeking to exploit the U.S. opioid epidemic and prescription pill misuse. 

Along with the alert came a warning that the only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly. DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.

A location finder and partner toolbox are available at www.DEATakeBack.com

Beyond DEA’s Take Back Day, there are also opportunities to regularly and safely dispose of unneeded medications at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and businesses working to help clean out medicine cabinets throughout the year.


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