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Press Release

Drug Enforcement Administration Collects Record Number of Unused Pills During Its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant, joined the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on October 28, 2017 for its 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The biannual event was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at thousands of collection sites around the country, including at Kroger, 7615 Highway 70 Bartlett, TN. That one-day event made it convenient for the public to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Authorities collected 226 lbs. of prescription drugs at the Kroger location.

Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its partners a record-setting 912,305 pounds – 456 tons – of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted 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.

"Our office was pleased to partner with DEA for this important cause. The President recently announced mobilizing his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency. With the opioid epidemic at an all-time high, we must take advantage of every opportunity to rid our communities of drugs that destroy the lives of our fellow citizens," said D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney, Western District of Tennessee.

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.

DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.

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

Updated November 7, 2017