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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office And DEA Announce Significant Milestone During 16th National Prescription Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nevada
Americans dropped off unused pills reaching a program total of nearly 11 million pounds

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – With the robust participation of Americans nationwide, the Drug Enforcement Administration (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. During the 16th semiannual event on October 27, 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. Together with almost 5,000 local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed more than 457 tons of potentially dangerous leftover prescription drugs.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the Fall of 2010 to 10,878,950 pounds, or 5439.5 tons.

Nevadans participating in Take Back Day turned in a total of 4,455 pounds of unwanted or expired prescription medications for safe and proper disposal at 24 sites throughout the state.

“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.”

“Take Back Day events continue to provide an opportunity for citizens to safely remove unused, unwanted, and expired prescription medications from their homes,” said U.S. Attorney Elieson. “Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. I am grateful to every Nevadan who cleaned out their medicine cabinets and to our law enforcement partners who participated.”

Nevada law enforcement agencies that participated during Take Back Day included: Carson City Sheriff’s Office; Washoe County Sheriff’s Office; Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; Reno Police Department; Sparks Police Department; University of Nevada, Reno Police Department; Fallon Police Department; Winnemucca Police Department; Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the North Las Vegas Police Department.

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.

Parents and teens are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s websites at and

Complete results for DEA’s 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available at The next Take Back Day is April 27, 2019.


Updated November 8, 2018

Community Outreach
Prescription Drugs