This is an image of the top lefthand corner of a clipboard with paper featuring RX Take Back Day has traditionally been a one-day, twice-a-year event. However, that has changed – for the better! Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-driven program has been revised so that now, every day is a Take Back Day. Add to that the nearly 17,000 year-round drop-off locations around the country, and it would be hard to find a reason not to clear out your old prescriptions.

What is RX Take Back Day?

In this image, a woman with blue glasses and short, straight, silver hair is resting her chin on her hands, which are one atop the other on a table, as she looks at a scattering of prescription medications on the table.The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) presents RX Take Back Day to prevent prescription drug misuse, addiction, and overdose, which have become a severe public health issue in the United States. According to some studies, prescription drug misuse has increased over the last two decades and has caused thousands of deaths, overdoses, and other health and social woes.

Most likely to be misused: Opioids

This is an image of a clear capsule with tiny orange and white- and periwinkle and white-colored capsules within. Other capsules, pink and white and green and white, are floating in the background. Medicine, prescription.The category of most-misused drugs is opioids, not surprisingly. The deadly problem of opioid addiction has grown across the US, reaching its peak now. For example, in 2020, there were 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the US. Of those, 69.5% involved an opioid. Narcotics other than opioids accounted for 6,604 overdose deaths – that is, 7.1% of the total overdose deaths.

Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that 14,675 people died of prescription opioid poisoning or overdose last year (final data pending).

This information is not meant to suggest that the RX Take Back program is only concerned with collecting prescription opioids. It aims to collect all categories of prescription medications that would otherwise be thrown out or flushed. 

RX Take Back Day

This is an image of a medicine cabinet filled with bottles of medicine and prescriptions. The cabinet is made of wood and stylish. RX Take Back DayIt’s pretty simple for most of us to pitch in to help combat prescription drug abuse. We can clear out our medicine cabinets of old, unused, and unwanted prescriptions and drop them off in a convenient location. Do not dispose of medications in the trash or by flushing them down the toilet. Throwing out medications with your trash makes those meds accessible to children or pets, or people who look for them in people’s waste cans. While some medication is safe to be flushed, most cannot and should not be. Doing so can contaminate the water supply and harm the environment.

Click here to find an RX Take Back drop-off location near you.


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