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Press Release

More than 22 tons of prescription medication were returned in Ohio as part of DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back events last month

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

More than 22 tons of prescription medication were returned in Ohio as part of DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back events last month.

The DEA’s Detroit Field Division, servicing Michigan and Ohio collected a total of 69,584 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The state of Ohio collected 45,206 pounsd, while Michigan collected 24,378 pounds. Each state collecting larger amounts than the previous event. 

Nationally, DEA and federal, state and local partners disposed of more than 900,000 pounds of prescription medications collected at nearly 6,000 sites across the country during the 16th semiannual event on Oct. 27. Together with almost 5,000 local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed more than 457 tons of potentially dangerous leftover prescription drugs.

With the robust participation of Americans nationwide, DEA and its law enforcement partners have now surpassed its 10 million pound goal and collected nearly 11 million pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications over the course of 16 successful DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back events.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 10,878,950 pounds, or 5,439.5 tons.

“The results of our most recent Take Back Day clearly demonstrate a need for this initiative as a tool in the fight against America’s opioid crisis,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “The success of this event is a direct reflection of DEA’s commitment to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths in the U.S. Together, we are all helping to make a difference to keep our friends and families safe.”  

“We know of many cases where leftover pain pills have led to an opioid addiction,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman said. “Properly disposing of these pills is one important step anyone can take to get involved in turning the tide on the opioid epidemic that has caused so much pain here in Ohio.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

DEA began putting on Take Back Day events when the public had no other way to appropriately dispose of their leftover painkillers and other potentially dangerous drugs. These events have been extremely successful not only in getting unused drugs out of the house, but also in raising awareness of their link to addiction and overdose deaths. Since DEA launched this program nine years ago, doctors are prescribing fewer painkillers, and law enforcement agencies, pharmacies and others have installed permanent prescription drug drop boxes on-site, making drug disposal even more convenient.

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications.

Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27, 2019.



Mike Tobin

Updated November 6, 2018

Prescription Drugs