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Press Release

DEA Prepares For Prescription Drug Takeback Day on Saturday, October 28, 2017

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Numerous Locations Where Unused Prescription Drugs Can be Dropped Off for Disposal

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Acting U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith encourages all to take advantage of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration 14th National Prescription Drug Takeback 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 many here in the Northern District of New York. The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.


“The opioid and heroin epidemic is devastating families and communities, causing overdose deaths, increasing property crimes, and encouraging drug gangs to compete for customers.  The DEA Prescription Drug Takeback Day provides a safe and anonymous way to get unused prescription drugs out of our homes and away from potential drug abusers without harming the environment, and we encourage all to take advantage of this opportunity.” said Acting United States Attorney Grant Jaquith.


DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt stated, “New Yorkers have been the targets of opioid traffickers pushing diverted medication, heroin and fentanyl onto our streets.  Abusing prescription medication has turned Americans into addicts and is the cause of tens of thousands of overdose deaths.  This Saturday, you can remove threats that lurk in your medicine cabinet and dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medication at any of our collection sites.”

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. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, 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 poses 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 the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day web site at where you can search by zip code, city, or state.

Updated October 29, 2017

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