National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice a year and is a day that is designated for people to drop off and dispose of prescription drugs that are expired or are not needed any longer. 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 since the DEA started this nationwide event.
For those who have extra or unused prescribed medications, National Take Back Day provides a way to securely dispose of these drugs. Some prescription medications, including some pain medications, sleeping medications and anxiety medications, can be dangerous and addictive when misused. Many people who are addicted to prescription medications report obtaining these medications from someone else who was prescribed these drugs. 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 Colorado?
During the last National Take Back Day, Colorado had a total of 85 collection sites with 57 law enforcement agencies in the state participating. In total, 15,742 pounds of drugs were removed from Colorado homes through National Take Back Day.
In an interview with a Colorado news site, DEA spokesperson Randy Land said that the opioid crisis in the United States impacts 6.2 million people every day, many of which are Coloradans. By removing almost 8 tons of drugs in one day, the state of Colorado helped to reduce the availability of addictive substances and promote the safety of children and teenagers who had increased availability to these substances.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment promotes and helps to manage National Take Back Day activities in the state of Colorado.
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:
- Colorado: 273,913 pounds (136.5 tons)
- Nationally: 10,878,950 pounds (5,439.5 tons)
Denver.cbslocal.com. “Drug Take-Back Day Keeps Leftover Medications Out of Abuser Hands.” October 2018. Accessed MArch 26, 2019.
DEA.gov. “Take Back Day.” 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.
Colorado.gov. “Colorado Household Medication Take-Back Program.” 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.
Colorado.gov. “Medication Take Back Locations Map.” 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.
DEA.gov. “16th National Take Back Day.” October 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019.
Getsmartaboutdrugs.gov. “Take Back Day is April 27.” March 20, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.