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Press Release

DEA Holds 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to Prevent Addiction and Reduce Overdose Deaths

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama
DEA is making communities safer and healthier by helping the public safely dispose of unneeded controlled substances to reduce opioid addiction

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – United States Attorney Prim F. Escalona announces support of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Take Back Day is a bi-annual event that aims to provide safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing or prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

“I encourage our community to take this opportunity  to dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs.  It is free, easy, and anonymous,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said.  “Properly disposing of these pills is one important step we all can take to get involved in protecting our loved ones from accidental overdoses or even addiction.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley said, “Drug overdose deaths continue to climb, last year marking the largest number ever recorded, claiming 290 lives every day.  Sadly, the majority of these addictions start with prescription drugs found in home medicine cabinets.  DEA’s Take-Back initiative provides citizens an easy and safe way to rid their homes of unneeded medications that too often become a gateway to addiction.  Please do your part to keep prescription drugs off the streets and help spread awareness in your community.”

Last October, DEA’s New Orleans Field Division, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, collected 39,840 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at 289 collection sites throughout the division.  The amounts collected for each state within the division was the following: Louisiana – 4,510 pounds; Mississippi –5,942 pounds; Alabama – 4,708 pounds; and Arkansas – 24,680 pounds. 

Drug overdose deaths are up 16 percent in the last year, claiming more than 290 lives every day. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, more than 106,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021, marking the most drug-related deaths ever recorded, with opioid-related deaths accounting for 75 percent of all overdose deaths.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or no longer needed—that too often become a gateway to addiction. Working in close partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 15 million pounds of medication from circulation since its inception. These efforts are directly in line with DEA’s priority to combat the overdose epidemic in the United States.

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, DEA and its law enforcement partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. DEA will accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.

A location finder and partner toolbox are available at for easy reference to April 30 collection sites.

Year-round receptacles are available at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and business. Additionally, with the passage of the DUMP Opioids Act in 2021, the public may now use drop boxes at Veterans Administration medical centers to dispose of controlled substance prescription medications. Check with your local VA health facility for more information.  With more than 13,000 year-round drop-off locations in the United States, every day can be Take Back Day.

Updated April 29, 2022

Prescription Drugs