In its continuing efforts to provide a "safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs," the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled its eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day for Saturday, April 26, 2014. The DEA held its first Prescription Drug Take-Back event in September 2010. To date, the Take-Back events, which have collection sites across the United States and some U.S. territories, have removed over 3.4 million pounds of medication from circulation.
According to a DEA press release that was issued following the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, the Take-Back events are necessary because the "Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as originally written didn't provide a way for patients, caregivers, and pet owners to dispose of such controlled substance (CS) medications such as painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants like ADHD drugs. People were flushing their old meds down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, but in recent years medicines have been found in the nation’s water supplies, and medications were being retrieved from the trash by those who would abuse or sell them." The DEA also noted that unused and expired prescription drugs that remain in home medicine cabinet are "highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse."
In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the CSA to permit users of lawfully-obtained controlled substances to deliver the controlled substance to an authorized person for the purpose of disposal of the controlled substance. Regulations implementing this Act are being finalized by the DEA.
The DEA will post of list of prescription drug collection sites beginning April 1, 2014.