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May 09th, 2021

Special to the Leader & Times


The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day collected 829,543 pounds (419.7 tons) of unused, expired, and unwanted medications across the country. The St. Louis Division collected 54,700 pounds of that grand total, with Missouri contributing about 33,000 pounds; Kansas, almost 19,000 pounds; and southern Illinois, 2,600 pounds.

The April event included 199 community partners at 253 collection sites throughout the DEA St. Louis Division.

“DEA’s biannual Take Back Day events are critical to helping reduce overdose deaths and alleviate addiction by safely disposing of prescription medications that sit idle in the home,” said DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “DEA is committed to providing a safe and secure method for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous drugs.”

Diversion Program Manager Inez Davis, DEA lead for the National Prescription Take Back Day event in the states of Missouri and Kansas, as well as southern Illinois, applauds the amount collected. “Ultimately, we’d like to see the amount of prescriptions turned in decrease, as that would mean people were getting rid of their medications during these events, they’re using permanent prescription drop box locations, or doctors are prescribing fewer drugs. All of these are signs that DEA’s Take Back Days are making an impact. Regardless, getting unneeded prescriptions out of our neighborhoods at any time will ultimately make a dent in the opioid crisis and keep communities safer.”

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The DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected 14,670,240 million pounds of medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 24, 2020, the public turned in a record 985,392 pounds – almost 493 tons – of medication to DEA and 4,153 of its community partners at 4,587 collection sites nationwide, including 33 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites.

For those who could not make it to a Take Back location, DEA reminds the community that every day is Take Back Day with more than 11,000 year-round authorized collection sites across the country. For more information, visit:

DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.

Complete results for DEA’s April 2021 Take Back Day are available at

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