Drug Take Back Days

October 17, 2023

Timely disposal of prescription medicines can reduce the risk of them being taken accidentally or misused intentionally. The best and most environmentally friendly way to dispose of your prescription medicines is through a proper drug disposal program.

Fortunately, many local law enforcement agencies accept controlled and non-controlled medications during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take Back Days on the last Saturdays in April and October. This fall, the event occurs on October 28.

Per the DEA, these special collections help families easily rid their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or expired—that can become a gateway to addiction. In the decade since its inception, Drug Take Back Days have removed more than 8,300 tons of medication from circulation, working in partnership with local law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Take Back Days offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 drop-off locations nationwide. Collection sites will not accept syringes, sharps, and illicit drugs. Liquid products like cough syrup should remain sealed in their original container. The cap must be tightly sealed to prevent leakage. Find participating locations in your community and learn about all the details so you can participate properly.

There are several national drop-off sites year-round at local CVS Pharmacies and Walgreens for non-controlled medications. Non-controlled medications include prescription medications, ointments, lotions, liquid medication bottles, vitamins, aerosol cans, inhalers, and patches. Before you come to any pharmacy, please contact them to confirm whether they accept the items you plan to drop off.

Take a look inside your medicine cabinet and make a difference! If you have medications you no longer need, haven’t used, or that have expired, take them to your local Take Back Day later this month or find a nearby year round collection site. As the DEA’s motto says, “Keep them safe. Clean them out. Take them back.”