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Press Release

DEA and Partners hold National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 24

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

Memphis, TN – Acting United States Attorney Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., joins the Drug Enforcement Administration in announcing that on April 24th, DEA will hold its 20th

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The biannual event will be held at thousands of collection sites around the country. The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous.

With robust public participation, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative continues to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

Now in its 20th year, DEA’s October 2020 Take Back Day brought in a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

"It’s important to keep our own homes safe by regularly cleaning out medicine cabinets and any other areas where we store our pharmaceuticals," said Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. "Bringing unused or expired medications to a local collection site for safe disposal helps protect your loved ones and the environment."

"As the nation’s overdose death toll continues to rise, it’s now more important than ever to safely dispose of any medications you no longer need in your home medicine cabinet," said Special Agent in Charge Todd Scott, head of DEA’s Louisville Division. "This is a great opportunity for all of us to work together, to make our communities safer by keeping prescription drugs out of the wrong hands."

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States continue to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Most prescription drug abusers say they get their drugs free from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet. Take Back Day is a unique opportunity for Americans to protect their homes and medicine cabinets from theft and abuse.

Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one-way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.

Learn more about the event at or by calling 800-882-9539.



Cherri Green
Reentry and Community Outreach Coordinator
(901) 544-4231

Updated July 1, 2021