National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice a year and is designed to allow people to drop off and dispose of prescription drugs that are expired or no longer needed. The next National Take Back Day will be held on April 27, 2019 between 10:00am and 02:00pm. This will be the 17th National Take Back Day.
For those who have extra or unused prescribed medications, National Take Back Day provides a secure way to dispose of these drugs and prevent them from being misused by others. By disposing of medications during National Take Back Day, people can remove these potentially addictive medications and help in the fight against addiction.
What is National Take Back Day?
National Take Back Day is an event that occurs twice a year and is hosted by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The DEA is a Federal agency that regulates and enforces rules about the use and distribution of medications and other drugs within the United States. The DEA uses a no-questions-asked policy when collecting drugs during National Take Back Day and encourages people to use this day as an opportunity to discard of old or extra medications.
There are some important restrictions on medications that cannot be dropped off during National Take Back Day. Medications that cannot be dropped off include:
- Medications that include needles or sharps
- Medications stored in pressurized containers
- Any device or packaging containing mercury
- Medications containing iodine
- Illegal medications
How is NTBD Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse in Washington?
During the last National Take Back Day, Washington had a total of 96 collection sites and 86 participating law enforcement agencies. A total of 15,604 pounds of drugs were removed from Washington homes during the event. By removing almost 8 tons of drugs, the state of Washington helped to reduce the availability of addictive substances and promote the safety of children and teenagers.
The Washington Poison Center manages National Take Back Day activities in the state of Washington and promotes taking back unused medications all year round. Most of the medication disposal centers in Washington State are not temporary and are designed to be available throughout the year.
National Take Back Day Statistics
Since the first National Take Back Day, impressive amounts of prescription drugs have been removed from circulation. In the last National Take Back Day alone, the national statistics included:
- 914,236 pounds (457.1 tons) of drugs removed
- 5,839 participating collection sites across the country
- 4770 participating law enforcement agencies
The amount of drugs removed since National Take Back Day was started by the DEA are staggering:
- Washington: 224,037 pounds (112.0 tons)
- Nationally: 10,878,950 pounds (5,439.5 tons)
DEA.gov. “Take Back Day.” 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.
DEA.gov. “16th National Take Back Day.” October 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019.
WAPC.org. “Washington Poison Center.” 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.
Takebackyourmeds.org. “Find a Medication Take-Back Location.” 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.
Getsmartaboutdrugs.gov. “Take Back Day is April 27.” March 20, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.