National News

Saturday is ‘National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day’

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Atlanta Divisional Office is partnering with national, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, as well as community coalition groups, to hold its 20th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. 

This one-day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. At the event, Georgians will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge, no questions asked. By doing so, they will help prevent prescription drug abuse and theft. Georgians participating in DEA’s last take-back held on October 24, 2020, yielded 7,112 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state.

“The abuse of prescription medications often begins with the misuse or theft of these drugs from home medicine cabinets. DEA’s Take Back Day is a great opportunity for the public to be part of the solution and dispose of potentially dangerous drugs safely,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

“DEA’s twentieth take-back event will allow Americans to safely and properly dispose of their unwanted/unused prescription medications,” said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. “DEA will work hand-in-hand with a number of law enforcement, Tribal and community partners, all in effort to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement. Several communities across the Middle District of Georgia will be holding Take Back Day disposal sites. To find a collection site, please visit www.deatakeback.com.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.

Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths. Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.

The DEA also encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs. 

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