Drug take-back event nets more than 900K pounds in unwanted meds

November 11, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 900,000 pounds of prescription medications were voluntarily disposed of in a single day at nearly 6,000 collection sites nationwide during the 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 27, according to a release by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Field Division.

In total, the 16 Drug Take Backs have collected nearly 11 million pounds of prescription medication since the initiative began in 2010.

“The results of our most recent Take Back Day clearly demonstrate a need for this initiative as a tool in the fight against America’s opioid crisis,” said acting DEA administrator Uttam Dhillon in a statement. “The success of this event is a direct reflection of DEA’s commitment to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths in the U.S.

“Together, we are all helping to make a difference to keep our friends and families safe.”

In West Virginia, just over 7,500 pounds of unused or expired pharmaceuticals were collected, while 13,000 pounds were rounded up in neighboring Kentucky.

“Due to the overwhelming participation of West Virginians, law enforcement collected 1,300 more pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs on Oct. 27 than on the previous National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” said Mike Stuart, U.S. attorney for West Virginia’s Southern District. “All the credit goes to DEA, our state and local law enforcement partners and my fellow West Virginians for making this event a success time and time again.”

This twice-yearly event is sponsored to clear the nation’s medicine cabinets of unwanted or expired prescription drugs before they fall into the wrong hands.

All kinds of medications, from Alka-Seltzer to Oxycodone, were accepted anonymously with no questions asked.

Several local law enforcement departments in West Virginia and Kentucky participated, including Huntington Police, West Virginia State Police, the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office, Ceredo Police, Milton Police, Ashland Police, Kentucky State Police and Hamlin Police.

The DEA’s 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be April 27, 2019.

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