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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From: 
Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Kathleen M. McGettigan, Acting Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Richard J. Baum, Acting Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in partnership with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, invites all Federal employees and their friends and families to participate in the National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on Saturday, October 28, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Individuals wishing to dispose of their medications safely and anonymously can find a collection location at:  www.DEAdiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic, with more people dying from drug overdoses than in motor vehicle crashes.  In 2015 alone, 33,091 people died from overdoses involving some type of opioid, including heroin.  A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association found that 42 percent of opioids prescribed for acute post-surgical pain were not consumed, at least 67 percent of patients had leftover medicine, and 91 percent of the patients with leftover medicine did not dispose of it properly.*  These statistics show the value of proper prescription drug disposal as a key strategy for preventing prescription drug abuse. 

Americans participating in the DEA’s 13th National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on April 29, 2017, turned in 900,386 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at 5,498 take-back sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  Consequently, as of April 29, 2017, this brought the total amount of drugs collected for disposal by this program to 8,103,363 pounds or 4,052 tons. 

We invite you to join this commitment to improving public health and safety by participating and inviting others – friends, family, and neighbors – to take part in the 14th National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day on Saturday, October 28, 2017. 

* Mark C. Bicket, MD; Jane J. Long, BS; Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD; G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS; Christopher L.Wu, MD;  “ Prescription Opioid Analgesics Commonly Unused After Surgery Review”, Journal American Medical Association, JAMA Surgery, (2017), pages E1-E6.