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Press Release

DEA Prepares for Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho

BOISE – U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis supports the DEA in its 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 28th.  The biannual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at thousands of collection sites around the country, including 30 here in the District of Idaho.  The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.


“Prescription drugs are highly addictive and can be just as dangerous as any street drug and just as deadly,” said Davis.  “The Prescription Take Back Day is an important event to get unused prescription drugs removed from homes before a chance of abuse can occur.”


Last April, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  In the District of Idaho, 3,746 pounds of pills were collected.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.  The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches.)


Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.  Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin:  Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers.


Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.  This initiative addresses the public safety and public health issues that surround medications languishing in home cabinets, becoming highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.


For more information or to locate a collection site near you, go to DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day web site at  where you can search by zip code, city or state.


Public Information Officer
(208) 334-1211

Updated October 25, 2017

Community Outreach
Prescription Drugs