Drug Take Back Day – April 27, 2019

DEA Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.  Saturday, April 27, 2019 is national prescription drug take back day.

It’s important to properly dispose of your prescription medications when you no longer need them. Research shows that more than 60 percent of Americans prescribed opioid painkillers reported keeping leftover medication in their home medicine cabinet long after ending use. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.


  1. Take your own medications only as directed by your physician.
  2. Keep all of your active medications secured, preferably under lock and key. Some adults and youth seek them out for dangerous recreational and substance abuse activities.  Some will go through medicine cabinets, kitchen cabinets, and night stands of family members, friends, neighbors, or real estate open houses.
  3. Properly dispose of any medications that you no longer need. Perhaps you have a prescription that was filled and you didn’t need to take all of them, or the doctor changed to a new and improved medication approach.
  4. Do not flush unwanted medications in the toilet—it contaminates our water supply. Please help to save our environment. 
    1. Take your medications to a DEA Drug Take Back Day. There is usually a spring and a fall date.
    2. Liquid medications can be poured into kitty litter or coffee grounds and included in your trash.  Protect our safety workers! 
    3. Sharps need to be disposed of in a properly designed sharps disposal container.
    4. Alternatively, use a Deterra pouch!  In a simple 3-step process, a user can deactivate drugs, thereby preventing drug misuse and protecting the environment. Many local drug coalitions throughout Indiana can provide these pouches.
  5. Pharmacies and Law Enforcement Officers work together to safely manage powerful pills that are no longer needed. They just want to remove the pills safely and do not have enough staff to chase you for any reason. They want you, your family, and your neighbors to be safe.

Visit www.DEATakeBack.com for a collection site near you, including where to take your unwanted drugs year-round for proper disposal.
Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds — many times your local drugstore (such as Walgreen’s) will accept unwanted prescriptions for disposal.

Read more on why you should check your medicine cabinet and a history of the opioid crisis here.


Get Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of distress, please reach out to a mental health professional or get confidential, free support and text LOOKUP to 494949 or chat online here.

If you live in Indiana and need help finding a behavioral health provider, visit Find Help or call (800) 284-8439.

Start the conversation.  Silence the Stigma. 

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