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DEA hosting drug take back day Saturday for unneeded prescriptions

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: Where to take your prescriptions
Posted at 7:39 AM, Apr 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-30 10:39:52-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - As drug overdoses soar in the United States, particularly from opioid misuse, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration Saturday will hold its 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day -- enabling people to anonymously dispose of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 drop- off spots nationally, including 23 throughout San Diego County.

The 23 area drop-offs are based at police and sheriff's stations throughout the county, as well as some military hospitals, all organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies.

Saturday's version of the twice-annual event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A location finder can be accessed at, allowing people to enter a ZIP code to find convenient drop-off spots.

"Disposing of unneeded medications can help prevent drugs from being misused," said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. "Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs. I encourage everyone to dispose of unneeded prescription medications now."

On Saturday, the DEA and its law enforcement partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs -- but liquids, syringes and other sharps, as well as illicit drugs, will not be accepted. The DEA said vaping devices and cartridges will also be accepted, but lithium batteries must be removed.

According to the DEA, drug overdose deaths are up 16% in the past year, claiming more than 290 lives every day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 106,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in the 12- month period ending November 2021 -- the most drug-related deaths ever recorded. Opioid-related deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose fatalities, according to the CDC.

The DEA also cited a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration saying that a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.

Since the inception of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day 12 years ago, the DEA estimates it has collected more than 15 million pounds of medications.

For people who cannot drop off their unneeded medications on Saturday, the DEA also pointed out that year-round receptacles are available at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments and businesses nationwide.

With the passage of the DUMP Opioids Act in 2021, the public may now use drop boxes at Veterans Administration medical centers. The DEA urges people to check with their local VA facility for more information.

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