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Press Release

DEA to Accept Prescription Drugs and Electronic Vaping Devices Across South Carolina on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina – United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Columbia District Office is partnering with national, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, as well as community coalition groups, to hold its 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at over 80 locations across South Carolina this Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

This one-day event will make it convenient for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs. South Carolinians will be able to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted pills at sites across the state free of charge, no questions asked.  By doing so, they will help prevent prescription drug abuse and theft. South Carolinians participating in DEA’s last take-back held on April 27, 2019, yielded 11,825 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state.

For the first time, DEA will also 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, individuals should 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. 

“Saturday’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity for South Carolinians to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, helping to keep dangerous narcotics out of the wrong hands and off of our streets,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon.  “This is an important first step in preventing the misuse and abuse of prescription medication.  We are grateful to DEA for their leadership and to each of our local partners for helping make this event a reality.” 

“DEA’s 18th Prescription Drug Take Back event will allow Americans to safely and properly dispose of their unwanted/unused prescription medications,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “During Saturday’s Take Back event, DEA is taking a proactive step by collecting vaping devices and cartridges as we work with our partners to combat this emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.”

Now in its tenth year, DEA has collected a total of more than 11 million pounds (almost 6,000 tons) of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications through its Take Back Day events. DEA is continuing to register law enforcement partners and collection sites for the upcoming Take Back Day. Over 4,500 registered law enforcement partners will assist with more than 5,250 registered sites and 135 tribal locations across the country, with more being added each day. Collection sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public can find a nearby collection site at or by calling 800-882-9539.

National Take Back Day has received enthusiastic public support since its inception in 2010. Last April, the public turned in 469 tons (937,443pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 6,258 sites operated by the DEA and its 4,969 local and tribal partners. 


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

The DEA also encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and


Lance Crick
First Assistant U.S. Attorney
(864) 282-2105

Updated October 25, 2019