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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Take Back Initiative An Overwhelming Success

- 11,076 pounds of prescription drugs collected in Kentucky on October 28th!


LOUISVILLE, KY – Kentuckiana residents assisted in dramatically reducing the number of potentially dangerous prescription drugs from their homes by cleaning out medicine cabinets and safely disposing of 11,076 pounds of unused medications at more than 70 collection locations on Saturday, October 28th,  announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman and DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans.


In the Western District of Kentucky, residents did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing DEA and participating law enforcement partners, 4,565 pounds of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal. That is 665 more pounds than was collected at last spring’s event.


DEA’s Detroit Field Division, which covers Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky, collected 67,211 pounds—over 33 tons of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at its more than 526 collection sites.


According to DEA, Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners a record-setting 912,305 pounds—456 tons—of potentially dangerous prescription drugs for disposal at more than 5,300 collection sites. That is almost six tons more than was collected at last spring’s event. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons.   


Now in its 8th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of 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. The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis.


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.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards.


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. 


Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at  DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.

Community Outreach
Updated November 7, 2017