You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 7, 2018

Ohioans turn in more than 20 tons of unused medication during Drug Take Back Day

Ohio saw a 13 percent increase in medication collected during Drug Take Back Day last month.

Appoximately 40,509 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription pills were turned in in Ohio on April 28. That’s an increase from 35,797 pounds collected last fall.

Americans nationwide did their part to drop off a record number of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications during the DEA’s 15th event National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, at close to 6,000 sites across the country. Together with a record-setting amount of local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed close to one million pounds—nearly 475 tons—of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, making it the most successful event in DEA history.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a day for every American, in every community across the country, to come together and do his or her part to fight the opioid crisis – simply by disposing of unwanted prescription medications from their medicine cabinets,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “This event – our 15th – brings us together with local, state and federal partners to fight the abuse of prescription drugs that is fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

“We know of many cases where leftover pain pills have led to an opioid addiction,” 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.”

Now in its 9th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of 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.

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 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.

DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards.

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 www.deatakeback.com. DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 27, 2018.

Topic(s): 
Community Outreach
Opioids
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Mike Tobin 216.622.3651 michael.tobin@usdoj.gov
Updated May 7, 2018