LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 20th Take Back Day on April 24.
DEA’s October 2020 Take Back Day brought in a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs.
Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA says it has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.
With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
“DEA along with our local law enforcement counterparts hope to provide a safe and convenient way for our community to dispose of unwanted prescriptions that can be susceptible to misuse and abuse in the home,” said Las Vegas Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dan Neill. “We appreciate the community’s support with keeping these prescription drugs off the streets and out of our children’s hands.”
“Take Back Day provides a vital opportunity to fight against the opioid crisis in Nevada as, too often, the path to addiction starts with first-time abusers experimenting with legitimately prescribed prescription opioids found in homes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou. “Our office urges Nevadans to please take advantage of the DEA’s free and anonymous collection so that unused prescription drugs don’t find their way into the wrong hands and cause accidental poisoning, misuse, or overdose.”
“It’s important to keep our own homes safe by regularly cleaning out medicine cabinets and any other areas where we store our pharmaceuticals,” said Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “Bringing unused or expired medications to a local collection site for safe disposal helps protect your loved ones and the environment.”
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.
Clark County Collection Locations:
840 S. Rancho Dr.
North Las Vegas, NV 89106
1807 W. Craig Rd.
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
NLVPD NW Area Command
3755 W. Washburn Rd
North Las Vegas, NV 89031
LVMPD NW Area Command
9850 West Cheyenne Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89129
LVMPD NE Area Command
3750 Cecile Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89115
Henderson Police Station
300 S. Green Valley Pkwy
Henderson, NV 89012
LVMPD Overton Sub-Station
320 North Moapa Valley Blvd
Overton, NV 89040
Learn more about the event at deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.