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DEA encourages communities to make every day take back day

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has launched a new campaign encouraging the public to make Every Day Take Back Day by utilizing year-round collection sites to dispose of unneeded and unwanted medications.

For more than a decade, DEA has worked with state and local law enforcement partners to host National Prescription Drug Take Back Days each year to help Americans rid their homes of unneeded medications. The Take Back program has received an overwhelming response from communities across the country.

In 2023, DEA collected more than 1.2 million pounds of unneeded medications at more than 4,600 sites nationwide during our two one-day events.

DEA has now registered a record 17,000 pharmacies as authorized collectors to help Americans dispose of unused prescription drugs any day of the year. These safe disposal receptacles, in addition to DEA’s annual Take Back Day events, provide the public with an easy, no-cost opportunity to anonymously dispose of medications that are no longer needed.

Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unwanted or expired medications. These medications can be a gateway to addiction and have helped fuel the opioid epidemic.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who use a prescription medication for a nonmedical purpose obtained that medication from a family member or friend.

Removing unnecessary medications from the home can help prevent situations involving not taking medication as intended or dosed; taking someone else’s prescription; and taking the medicine for euphoric effects rather than medicinal purposes.

“DEA has worked closely with the registrant community to dramatically increase the number of permanent disposal sites accessible to Americans. As a result, members of the public can now go to any one of 17,000 pharmacies across the nation to dispose of unused prescription medications any day of the year,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of these collection sites and make every day Take Back Day.”

Make Every Day Take Back Day by visiting a local pharmacy, hospital, or business with a DEA-registered year-round collection. In addition, many local police departments provide year-round drug disposal boxes.

Editor’s note: The Fallbrook sheriff’s substation does have a prescription drug drop off kiosk in its lobby, available during business hours, Monday through Friday. Medications can also be dropped off at most pharmacies. In Fallbrook, these drug stores have drop off kiosks: Albertsons, 1133 S. Mission Road; CVS, 1101 S. Mission Road; and Rite Aid, 1331 S. Mission Road.

For those with base access, the USN Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, 200 Mercy Circle, also takes unused medications. And if you go shopping in Temecula, these drugstores are another option for dropping off those medications: Vons, 29530 Rancho California Road; CVS, 29610 Rancho California Road; CVS, 30640 Rancho California Road or Albertsons, 30530 Rancho California Road.


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