This week Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea teamed up to encourage Floridians to help fight the opioid crisis and teen vaping epidemic by participating in the 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The event is an opportunity to help prevent drug abuse, addiction and overdoses by disposing of unused or expired prescription drugs or controlled substances. The DEA is also now accepting vaping products to help prevent youth vaping and keep addictive products from falling into the hands of minors.
Drug Take Back Day will take place this Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations across Florida and the nation.
“It is an honor to join DEA Acting Administrator Tim Shea as we ask all Floridians to help us fight the opioid crisis and youth vaping epidemic threatening our communities. By safely disposing of unused and expired prescription drugs, we can keep these controlled substances from ending up in the wrong hands—making our state and nation a safer place to live. Your actions today could prevent drug overdoses and save countless lives, maybe the life of someone close to you,” Moody said.
“The initiative—now in its tenth year—addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Together with our partners, we are not only holding National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but offering other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription medication,” Shea said.
The DEA coordinates drug take back days with state and local law enforcement biannually. Floridians can learn more about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and find participating locations by visiting TakeBackDay.DEA.gov.
Since the fall of 2010, DEA and its law enforcement partners have collected nearly 12.7 million pounds of prescription medications. The scheduled April Take Back Day was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, DEA ran a public awareness campaign, Secure Your Meds, at that time. During the last Drug Take Back Day in October 2019, nearly 883,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription medication were turned in—over 36,000 pounds in Florida alone.
The DEA does not accept vaping devices with lithium ion batteries. If the batteries cannot be removed, DEA recommends individuals visit stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.