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Press Release

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
Twice-annual Event Takes Place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After collecting and destroying 5.5 million pounds—2,762 tons—of unused prescription drugs in the past five years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is continuing its efforts to take back unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications. The DEA invites the public to bring their potentially dangerous, unwanted medicines to one of over 5,000 collection sites around the country that are manned by more than 3,800 of DEA’s tribal and local law enforcement partners. This service is free of charge, with no questions asked.

The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and entering their zip code into the search window, or they can call 800-882-9539. Only pills and other solids, like patches, will be accepted—the public should not bring liquids, needles or other sharps to take back sites.

America is presently experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers. 6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined.

“The abuse of prescription drugs is America’s fastest-growing drug problem, and too many people are dying or being seriously injured for the misuse of such drugs,” U.S. Attorney Wagner stated. “Young people are particularly at risk. Since most people who abuse prescription drugs say that they get them from family members or friends, it is imperative that we all take steps to dispose of unwanted drugs.”

“Unused prescription drugs that languish in the home are susceptible to diversion for misuse and abuse,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin. “You can make your home and our community safer by taking advantage of this free and anonymous service.”

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The removal from homes of unwanted prescription pills that can be abused, stolen or resold is an easy way to help fight the epidemic of substance abuse and addiction.

According to the DEA, in the previous 10 take-back events, approximately 302,427 pounds or 151 tons of unused medication were collected from Northern California and Central Valley residents.

Updated April 27, 2016

Prescription Drugs