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Press Release

DEA and Partners Hold National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
The public can dispose of their expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at over 600 collection sites throughout New England

BOSTON – 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 27, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the public can dispose of their expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at over 600 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 go to:

This initiative addresses a 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 due to these drugs. 

“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 16 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.”

“I encourage all Massachusetts residents to participate in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Day after day, we see the devastating effects of prescriptions - particularly opioids - that end up in the hands of those who were not prescribed the medications. It’s important to remember that sharing, selling, or stealing prescription pills is illegal, and worse, it can lead to addiction. With over 600 sites across New England, we hope everyone will take advantage of this public safety program and responsibly dispose of their unused prescriptions.”

Last October, during its 16th Take Back Day, the DEA New England Division collected 80,277.68 pounds - or 40 tons - of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs at 613 collection sites throughout New England. 

The following was the breakdown of collected weights for the six New England states:

CT             4,792.30 lbs.

MA          26,255.58 lbs.

ME           27,156.70 lbs.

NH            11,880 lbs.

RI              4,364 lbs.

VT             5,829 lbs. 

TOTAL    80,277.68 lbs.

            DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that flushing these drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash posed potential safety and health hazards. Since its inception, the initiative has received enthusiastic public support and made great strides in preventing drug misuse and abuse.

Updated January 11, 2021

Prescription Drugs