Skip to main content
Press Release

DEA Prepares for Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, will join the DEA on October 28th for its 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The biannual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at thousands of collection sites around the country, including 19 here in the Southern District of Florida. The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.


Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg stated, “Prescription drugs that serve no medical purpose should not be in our homes. They are subject to misuse and abuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative addresses this public safety and health issue by allowing everyone to dispose of prescription drugs safely and anonymously. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this bi-annual event to rid your homes of unused, unnecessary and outdated prescription drugs.”


Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills. The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.


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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin: Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers.


Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards. This initiative addresses the public safety and public health issues that surround medications languishing in home cabinets, becoming highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.


For more information or to locate a collection site near you, go the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day web site at where you can search by zip code, city, or state.

Updated October 27, 2017