DEA’s Drug Take Back Day Yields Highest NC Total Ever Collected

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-Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice

North Carolinians participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) 18th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Initiative (NTBI) held on Saturday, October 26, turned in 38,541 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state. This was the highest amount ever collected during the previous 17 Rx drug take back events.

Now in its 10th year, this event continues to remove large volumes of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

Beginning with October’s campaign, DEA accepted vaping devices and cartridges in addition to medications at all of its drop-off locations. With hundreds of confirmed lung injuries and dozens of deaths attributed to vaping use, DEA is working diligently in our communities and through our outreach efforts to spread the word about the dangers of vaping. Although no vaping devices/cartridges were reported to have been collected locally, these items may have been collected nationally (pending confirmation).

“Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented, “DEA’s eighteenth Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign was a success both locally and nationally. While North Carolinians turned in 38,541 pounds of unwanted or expired medications, nationally, nearly 883,000 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription medications were collected at nearly 6,174 sites made available across the United States. Also, in an effort to combat another emerging public health threat – particularly to our nation’s youth – we’re proud to have extended the same opportunity to those looking to dispose of harmful vaping products.” I would like to thank the multitude of partners (both law enforcement and nonlaw enforcement) who worked tirelessly to make this event another great success.”

The public has embraced Take Back Day events because they provide easy, no-cost opportunities to remove medicines languishing in the home that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse, and theft. Public demand for safe and secure drug disposal has also resulted in a significant increase in year-round drug drop boxes at law enforcement facilities, pharmacies, and elsewhere, making drug disposal even more convenient.

Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at

DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 25, 2020.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and Also, follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.

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