On Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Administration hosted its annual prescription drug ‘Take Back Day,’ encouraging the public to dispose of any unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications. The free and anonymous event, until 2 p.m., is intended to provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths, according to the Take Back Day website.
Over 5,000 collection centers are located across the country, and – new this year – locations are accepting e-cigarettes and vaping products in the wake of growing health concerns around such products. The DEA noted that anyone returning vape products should remove all batteries first. If batteries can’t be removed, the DEA suggested contacting “large electronic chain stores,” according to a release.
“Don’t be surprised by what is in your medicine cabinet,” DEA HQ said in a tweet. “Don’t be the dealer,” and “Make your home and community safer” were among other messages the federal agency pushed out Saturday morning.
Don’t be surprised by what is in your medicine cabinet. If you haven’t used them, don’t need them, or they’re expired, drop them off at a #TakeBackDay location near you TODAY between 10 to 2! https://t.co/DMoRodhACM pic.twitter.com/1qJazextr9
— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) October 26, 2019
Don’t be the dealer — turn in unused prescription meds TODAY between 10-2, no questions asked. Share w/friends to help end the #opioidcrisis, for a location go to https://t.co/GWBj6r2PCJ pic.twitter.com/G16AAU1KQf
— DEANewEngland (@DEANEWENGLAND) October 26, 2019
Tomorrow is #TakeBackDay! DEA and our law enforcement partners will take back #RXDrugs, #vape devices & cartridges. Make your home & community safer. https://t.co/pX5ym0jQ4d pic.twitter.com/pk4zsI6XGQ
— DEASanFrancisco (@DEASANFRANCISCO) October 25, 2019
President Donald Trump released a video on Twitter in support of the event. “The opioid and drug crisis has affected almost every family in our country,” the President said. “But we have ‘Take Back Day.’ We want you to go out and collect all those drugs and opioids and everything that you have… Get rid of them. We want to clean out the United States… Our drug crisis is always going to be a crisis but the numbers are way down and we’re very, very proud of that.”
My Administration is fighting hard to end the Opioid Crisis. Join with us by disposing unused or expired prescription medications at over 4,000 locations across this great Country. Find a location TODAY from 10am-2pm at https://t.co/CXK0LFpGMD. #TakeBackDay pic.twitter.com/xBEyflYYGj
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2019
Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential hopeful, also voiced her support of the campaign.
“Millions of people get their wisdom teeth taken out or have minor surgery & don’t use all the painkillers prescribed to them,” Warren tweeted Saturday. “Help fight the opioid epidemic by safely disposing any unused opioids in your medicine cabinet at a drop off location today.”
Millions of people get their wisdom teeth taken out or have minor surgery & don’t use all the painkillers prescribed to them. Help fight the opioid epidemic by safely disposing any unused opioids in your medicine cabinet at a drop off location today: https://t.co/EQjCI2wMYR
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) October 26, 2019
Last October, the DEA collected a total of 914,236 pounds of unwanted prescription medication, according to the Take Back Day website.
The one-day event falls in the middle of “Red Ribbon Week” an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually and sponsored by the National Family Partnership.