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First State holds latest Drug Take Back Day this weekend

Delaware Public Media
Delaware holds its 16th Drug Take-Back Day Saturday - seeking to reduce the risk of prescription medications being misused.

Delaware’s biannual Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday.


Two dozen locations across the state will accept expired or unused prescription medications between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, according to Bill Leitzinger with the Delaware Division of Public Health.

"The Drug Take Back Day is a national event and Delaware’s participated in every year that it has been held. It’s held twice a year - once in April and once in October. And we have a lot of partners - community partners and law enforcement partners - who set up collection sites throughout the state. We have 24 collection sites throughout the state,” said Leitzinger.

He says Drug Take-Back day aims to reduce the risk of prescription drug addiction and abuse in the First State. He adds that DPH officials consider the day an important tool in fighting the opioid epidemic.

The Take-Back days have collected over 76,000 pounds of medication since the initiative started in 2010, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.


But Leitzinger notes some drugs cannot be dropped off.


“Any injectables are not accepted, needles are not accepted, inhalers are not accepted. But, almost everything else is:  pills, liquids, ointments, even pet medications..they’ll take,” Leitzinger said.


Leitzinger says according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs.

DPH reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 293 people died in Delaware from drug overdoses in 2016, compared to 214 in 2015.


In addition to the 24 sites participating in Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are 21 permanent medicine drop-off locations across the state available year-round.

The state's drop-off sites are below:


New Castle County

  • Christiana Care Surgical Center, 4755 Ogletown Stanton Road, Newark
  • Delaware City Police Department, 407 Clinton St., Delaware City
  • Delaware State Police Troop 2, 100 La Grange Ave., Newark
  • Middletown Police Department, 130 Hampden Road, Middletown
  • New Castle County Airport, 151 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle
  • New Castle County Police Department, 3601 N. DuPont Highway (permanent collection site)
  • Shipley Manor Nursing Home, 2723 Shipley Road, Wilmington
  • Wilmington VA Medical Center, 1601 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington

Kent County

  • Atlantic Apothecary, 103. S. Dupont Blvd., Suite 2, Smyrna
  • Camden Police Department, 1783 Friends Way, Camden (permanent collection site)
  • Cheswold Police Department, 691 Main St., Cheswold
  • Delaware State Police Troop 3, 3759 S. State St.
  • Felton Police Department, 24 E. Sewell St., Felton (permanent collection site)
  • Milford Police Department, 400 NE Front St., Milford (permanent collection site)

Sussex County

  • City of Lewes Board of Public Works, 129 Schley Ave., Lewes
  • Dagsboro Police Department, 33134 Main St., Dagsboro
  • Delaware State Police Troop 7, 18006 Coastal Highway, Lewes
  • Laurel Police Department, 205 Mechanic St., Laurel (permanent collection site)
  • Milton Police Department, 101 Federal St., Milton
  • Ocean View Police Department, 201 Central Ave., Ocean View, (permanent collection site)
  • CVS Pharmacy, 36252 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville
  • Lewes Ferry Terminal, 43 Cape Henlopen Road, Lewes
  • Rehoboth Police Department, 229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach
  • Selbyville Town Hall, 68 W. Church St., Selbyville (permanent collection site)
Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.
Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.