Drug Enforcement Agency New England announces 20th Take Back Day

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This weekend the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will once again conduct one of its most popular community programs:  National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

On Saturday April 24 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the public can dispose of their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at 565 collection sites throughout New England, operated by local law enforcement agencies and other community partners. The service is free of charge, no questions asked and most of these collection sites can be found in the lobby of your local Police Department. To find a collection site near you and learn more about the event go to www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.

Last October during the 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day the New England Field Division and its partners, over the course of four hours, collected a record 115,944.24 pounds or over 57 tons of expired, unused, unwanted prescription drugs, electronic vaping devices and cartridges at collection sites throughout New England. 

“DEA has touched a nerve in America with its recent Take back events, as evidenced by the millions of pounds of pills collected during our previous 19 events,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our local, state, and federal partners, and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their continuous efforts on behalf of the American people.”

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. 

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. 

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