DEA: Annual drug take-back effort collects nearly 420 tons in US, more than 14 tons in Arkansas

National News

NEW ORLEANS – The Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day collected nearly 420 tons of unused, expired and unwanted medication across the country, with Arkansas picking up more than 14 tons. 

According to officials with the New Orleans Field Division, 45,603 pounds of the nation’s total was collected in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  

Out of the division, Arkansas collected the most prescription drugs with 28,705 pounds.  

Louisiana collected 6,050 pounds, Mississippi collected 5,748 pounds and Alabama collected 5,100 pounds of prescription drugs. 

The DEA said the April event included 4,425 community partners at 5,060 collection sites throughout the country. 

“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,” DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans said. “DEA is committed to providing a safe and secure method for the public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous drugs.” 

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley said, “DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove even-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen or abused. Residents in this region took a vital step in reducing the risk of prescription drug diversion by turning in over 45,600 pounds of medications. DEA thanks the citizens and community partners for their vast support in this crucial event.” 

To see the complete results for the April 2021 Take Back Day, visit DEATakeBack.com

According to the DEA, 14,670,240 pounds of medication has been collected since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. 

DEA officials said for those who couldn’t make it to a Take Back location during the event, there are more than 11,000 year-round authorized collection sites across the country. For more information, visit the DEA Diversion Control Division’s website.

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