This post was updated at 1 pm on Tuesday, April 20 with more locations announcing their participation in the program.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting the 20th Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24. This event provides a safe, convenient, and anonymous way to dispose of unwanted prescription medication and is an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. This ensures that the medications do not end up in the wrong hands or in the ecosystem.

According to a recent press release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that opioid overdose deaths have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. “The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.”

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The DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs at its last Take Back Day in October of 2020. Studies indicate that a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. Clearing out unused medicine is essential for this reason.

The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop-off locations provided lithium batteries are removed. Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.

Here is a list of the local departments that are participating on Saturday, April 24:

  • The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office will host the event at 400 Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • The Fall River Police Department will host the city's event at 1340 Plymouth Avenue in Fall River (Blessed Trinity Parish) from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • The New Bedford Police Department will host the city's event at NBPD Headquarters located at 871 Rockdale Ave from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • The Rehoboth Police Department will be open from 10 am to 2 pm at 334 Anawan Street.
  • The Wareham Police Department will be open from 10 am to 2 pm at 2515 Cranberry Highway.

The following departments are NOT participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, but have a permanent drop-box placed in the lobby that is available to the public for the disposal of unwanted medications 24/7, no questions asked. Liquids and needles will not be accepted.

  • Acushnet
  • Dartmouth
  • Lakeville
  • Freetown

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