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Press Release

DEA to accept electronic vaping devices and cartridges as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday

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

          BOSTON – This weekend the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will once again conduct one of its most popular community programs:  National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On Saturday October 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the public can dispose of their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at 594 collection sites throughout New England, operated by local law enforcement agencies and other community partners. The service is free of charge, no questions asked and most of these collection sites can be found in the lobby of your local Police Department.  To find a collection site near you go to:

          For the first time, DEA will now accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries. If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.

          Concerns have been raised across the United States over illnesses and death caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates. In an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially amongst America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.

          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. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that flushing these drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash posed potential safety and health hazards.

          “Our take-back events highlight the problems associated to prescription drug abuse and gives our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “These efforts help remove unwanted, expired and unused prescription pills that can be abused, stolen or resold which helps our continued dedication to combat the prescription pill, fentanyl and heroin epidemic of substance abuse and addiction.

          “Everyone should consider participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” said New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray.  “Although medications are needed to treat illness, we have seen the tragic impact of diverting and abusing prescription drugs.  This program is a simple and effective way to protect Granite State families by removing unneeded prescriptions from the home. Properly disposing of these drugs can prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.”

          Last April, during its 17th Take Back Day, the DEA New England Field Division participated in the drug take back day and, over the course of four hours, 89,366.3 pounds or over 44 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs we’re collected at 583 collection sites throughout New England. 

          The following was the breakdown of collected weights for the six New England states:

          CT – 8,361.80

          MA – 28,117.50

          ME – 27,680

          NH – 14,180

          RI – 4,465

          VT – 6,562

          Total- 89,366.3

          For more information about the harms of youth vaping, please visit:


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Updated October 22, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-192