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Press Release

DEA aims for record removal of unused pills through its 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative

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

          This weekend DEA and its partners will host one of the most popular DEA community programs:  National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On Saturday April 28th, 2018, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the public can dispose of their unused and unwanted prescription medications at one of the 182 collection sites in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), operated by 153 local law enforcement agencies and other community partners.    

          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.  DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that flushing these drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash posed potential safety and health hazards.

          When the results of the 14 DEA Take Back Days for the PNW are combined, DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners removed over 402,928 pounds (201.4 tons) of medication from circulation.  Since the program began eight years ago, over 9 million pounds – more than 4,500 tons of prescription medications have been collected nationwide

          The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting or by calling 800-882-9539. Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites—liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted.

          The service is free and anonymous.


DEA Special Agent Jodie Underwood at

Updated April 25, 2018

Community Outreach
Prescription Drugs