What You Need To Know About National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is hosting National Prescription Take Back Day on April 22nd, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

This event began in September of 2010. It takes place twice per year and has participants all across the country. 

During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, people are encouraged to bring their unused and expired prescription medications to designated Take Back sites

To find your nearest event location, check the DEA Take Back Day web page. 

Why Is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Important?

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day promotes proper drug disposal, limits potential drug addictions, and helps keep prescriptions out of the wrong hands. 

Preventing Opioid Addiction

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day began, in part, as a way to mitigate the opioid crisis in the U.S. 

There are several causes of drug addiction, one of which is prescription drug misuse. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to prevent this misuse. 

In the late 1990s, opioid prescriptions increased significantly. As a result, addictions and opioid overdose deaths also increased. 

When people remove unused medications from their homes safely, they can avoid misusing the medication and developing an opioid addiction as a result. 

They can also prevent others from accessing the medication. Several studies indicate that prescription opioid misuse often results in addictions to heroin and other illicit drugs. 

Many Americans, including teenagers, become addicted to prescription opioids after obtaining medication from somebody else’s medicine cabinet. 

Proper Medication Disposal

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day also emphasizes proper medication disposal. 

Prescription drugs, including opioids, should not simply be thrown in the garbage. The FDA has a “flush list” of medications that can be flushed down the toilet. 

Most prescription drugs, however, should be taken to proper disposal sites if at all possible. 

Even if a drug is on the flush list, the safest way to dispose of the medication is to take it to a designated disposal site. 

When disposed of improperly, medications may harm waterways and other aspects of the environment, as water treatment plants are not designed to break down medications. 

Furthermore, improper medication disposal increases the risk that children and/or pets will accidentally ingest these substances. 

Is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Anonymous?

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is completely anonymous. 

While events may vary by location, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day does not require participants to register or complete any forms. 

All medications brought to a Take Back Day event will be destroyed. You may also use a permanent marker to cover personal information on your prescription bottles. 

How Do I Dispose Of Medication Near Me?

While National Prescription Drug Take Back Day spreads awareness for proper medication disposal, you do not need to wait until the event to dispose of expired medications. 

Likewise, if you miss the event, you may still dispose of your medications after it ends. 

Because proper disposal prevents prescription drug addiction, many communities have designated permanent collection sites. 

These sites often include the following places: 

  • hospitals 
  • clinics 
  • pharmacies 
  • certain retail locations 
  • law enforcement agencies 

Look for clearly-labeled drop boxes outside of these locations, or call a location to ask if they accept prescription drugs for disposal. 

You may also check the DEA website for a list of medication drop-off locations. 

Recover From A Drug Addiction Today

Millions of Americans deal with prescription opioid misuse, and opioid overdose is still a major concern in the U.S. But drug addiction is treatable, and help is available.

Northeast Addictions Treatment Center offers several evidence-based care options, including medication-assisted treatment, outpatient addiction care, and telehealth appointments. 

If you or someone you love might have an addiction to opioids, contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center to learn more about your treatment options. 


Centers For Disease Control And Prevention — Understanding The Epidemic

Get Smart About Drugs — National Prescription Drug Take Back Day 

United States Department Of Health And Human Services — Opioid Crisis Statistics 

United States Drug Enforcement Administration — Take Back Day

Virginia Commonwealth University School Of Pharmacy — The Importance Of Proper Drug Disposal 

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.