Option 2: DEA Nationwide Drug Take-Back Sites

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected 617,150 pounds (309 tons) of unwanted medication during the final National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 27, 2014. On this day, thousands of DEA-coordinated collection sites across the country accepted tablets, capsules, and all other solid dosage forms of medicines, including prescription painkillers and other controlled substance medications. 

DEA announced that this was the last Take-Back Day after it recently finalized a rule that will allow authorized registrants to collect controlled substances for disposal. Now, the public may dispose of controlled substance medications at pharmacies and long-term care facilities, and through mail-back programs, provided these facilities are DEA registrants and obtain approval to become authorized collectors. Learn more about the new rules from this DEA fact sheet.

In four years and nine Take-Back Days, consumers have disposed of at least 4.8 million pounds (2,411 tons) of unwanted medication during previous DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. The DEA provides a state-by-state breakdown (PDF) of the last Take-Back event.