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Press Release

DEA Columbia Holds 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to Prevent Addiction and Reduce Overdose Deaths

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
Making communities safer by disposing unneeded Rx Meds to reduce opioid addiction

COLUMBIA, SC– The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta Division, which includes the state of South Carolina, will host its 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on NEXT Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This bi-annual event offers free, anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

During DEA’s last Rx Drug Take Back Day, which was held on Saturday, October 23, 2021, South Carolinians turned in 9,663 pounds of unneeded, unwanted or expired prescription medications.

The event will accept tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. DEA will accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.

A location finder and partner toolbox are available at for easy reference to April 30 collection sites.

Year-round receptacles are available at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and business. Additionally, with the passage of the DUMP Opioids Act in 2021, the public may now use drop boxes at Veterans Administration medical centers to dispose of controlled substance prescription medications. Check with your local VA health facility for more information.  With more than 13,000 year-round drop-off locations in the United States, every day can be Take Back day.

“Prescription drug abuse driven by the use of synthetic opioids, continues to be a major threat to our public safety,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta Field Division. “Removing one pill out of circulation could potentially save a life. Join us on Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 10 am to 2 pm at DEA’s 22nd national prescription drug Take Back event. It’s free and anonymous, no questions asked.”

Drug overdose deaths are up 16 percent in the last year, claiming more than 290 lives every day.  According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, more than 106,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021, marking the most drug-related deaths ever recorded, with opioid-related deaths accounting for 75 percent of all overdose deaths.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or no longer needed—that too often become a gateway to addiction. Working in close partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 15 million pounds of medication from circulation since its inception. These efforts are directly in line with DEA’s priority to combat the overdose epidemic in the United States.

The DEA 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 . Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.



Derek A. Shoemake (843) 327-0882

Updated April 22, 2022

Prescription Drugs