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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 29, 2022

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a program run by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The program was instituted as a way for communities to return unused or expired prescription drugs. It occurs biannually. The first is in the Spring (usually April) and the second is in the Fall (usually October). The next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 29, 2022.

What Happens on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day focuses on providing a way for people to get rid of their old and expired prescription medications. On that day, people can take any prescription drugs they no longer take or that are expired to a collection site in their community to dispose of.

Over the past five years, over 5 million pounds of prescription drugs were collected. The following is a breakdown of the prescription drugs collected since 2018.

| Year | Total weight of Prescription Drugs Collected | | -------- | -------- | | 2022 (so far) | 721,093 lbs (360 tons) | | 2021 | 1, 583,625lbs (792 tons) | | 2020 | 985,392lbs (492.7 tons) | | 2019 | 1,820,362lbs (910.22 tons) | | 2018 | 1,863,282lbs (931.62 tons ) |

What Are the Goals of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?

There are two goals of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day:

  • Collect unused prescription drugs
  • Raise awareness of the misuse of prescription drugs

Misuse of prescription drugs is defined as someone taking a drug in a way or manner different than what their doctor prescribed, or by taking a drug prescribed to another person. The following are examples:

  • Example 1: Person A broke his leg playing football. His doctor prescribed him painkillers. Seven months later Person A injured his arm playing basketball and is in pain. He starts taking leftover painkillers for his arm injury.
  • Example 2: Person B has difficulty falling asleep. Her mother has a doctor's prescription to treat anxiety. Person B takes her mother's medication.

In both of these examples, Person A and Person B are misusing prescription drugs, which can lead to prescription drug abuse. These are very serious problems in the United States. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was designed to curb these issues that plague the country. If people are offered a way to safely dispose of their unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs, then situations of misuse and abuse can be avoided.

Importance of National Drug Take Back Day

A 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 16.2 million people in the United States over the age of 12 misused any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months. Sadly, much prescription drug misuse and abuse arise from home, where loved ones find unused drugs and take them. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to help prevent people from misusing and abusing prescription drugs.

Also, the more society understands not just the problem of misusing and abusing prescription drugs, but understanding the common source, the easier it will be to tackle these issues. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day helps highlight this goal. It makes people more aware of which prescription drugs they have in their medicine cabinet and provides a safe way to dispose of any unused or expired prescription drugs.

You Can Participate Too

National Drug Take Back Day helps prevent drug crimes and tragedies in communities. You can do your part to dispose of unused prescription drugs and tell your community. Check here to find a collection point near you.

Save on Your Prescriptions

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