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Press Release

DEA prepares for prescription drug take back across Montana

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

U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme will join the Drug Enforcement Administration on April 27th for its 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The biannual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 35 collection sites across Montana.  The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

“This is the single most important step we can take in Montana to prevent more opioid abuse,” said U. S. Attorney Alme.  “Prevention is the best cure for addiction,” he said.

 “We know that many first-time abusers of pain killers get them from a friend or relative, including from home medicine cabinets,” said DEA Montana Resident Agent in Charge Stacy Zinn-Brittain.  “We have learned that pill experimentation has begun with our students in our high schools located in both Billings and Laurel,” Zinn-Brittain said.

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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose.

Last October Americans turned in 457 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 6,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Montanans turned in 3,470 pounds of pills at the October event.

The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches.) Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose 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 the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day web site at where you can search by zip code, city, or state.




Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated April 23, 2019

Prescription Drugs