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Press Release

DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee
Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine safely on April 27th, 2024.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. On Saturday, April 27th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Location information is available from the DEA, along with items that cannot be accepted. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This April’s event is DEA’s 26th nationwide event since its inception 14 years ago.  Last spring, Americans turned in nearly 599,897 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 4,675 sites operated by the DEA and 4,383 from its state and local law enforcement partners.

The DEA will now accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop-off locations during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium-ion batteries.  If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium-ion batteries.  Concerns have been raised across the United States over illnesses and deaths caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates.  To support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially among America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.

The DEA’s “Take Back” day and “Get Smart About Drugs” initiatives address the vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs. Synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, are the primary driver of the increase in overdose deaths.  For information on DEA’s “Take Back” in Spanish, click here, or for more information on the “Get Smart About Drugs” publication, click for English or Spanish.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long.  For more information, visit DEA’s year-round collection site locator.  Participating in the next DEA Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27th, simply means cleaning out your medicine cabinet or anywhere you keep unused, unwanted, or expired medications and dropping them off at your nearest collection site.  For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27th Take Back day event, go to DEA Drug Take Back event or by calling 800-882-9539.

The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available here: English or Spanish


Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated April 26, 2024

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