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National DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday

Delaware Public Media

Saturday is the 23rd National DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

There will be 22 locations statewide participating with two offering Overdose Response Training and Narcan distribution to the public. Those two locations are the Milford and Middletown police departments.

The event – from 10 am until 2 pm – is organized by the DEA, and operated locally by the Delaware Division of Public Health.

It aims to reduce the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse, and since 2010, nearly 100,000 pounds of medications have been collected.

DPH Epidemiologist Katie Capelli says what will be accepted at the event.

"We are accepting prescription drugs, not illicit drugs. So anything in the medicine cabinet from controlled substances and non-controlled substances,” said Capelli. “At locations they're also accepting vape pens or e-cigarette pens, but the batteries do have to be removed. And the DEA wants to stress that they will not be removing batteries. So anybody who's bringing them has to remove the batteries first."

The medications must be in a container like a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in original containers.

This is the second Drug Take Back Day this year, the first in April netted a total of 4,645 pounds of unneeded medication in Delaware.

Capelli explains the goal of the event.

"We want to make sure that we stop misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and any type of over-the-counter drugs. We also want to limit the diversion of drugs. So if they're thrown in the trash obviously they can still be diverted, or if they're in the homes obviously they can still be diverted. We also want to reduce the amount of drugs in our waterway," said Capelli.

The DEA’s website has a full list of sites participating in Drug Take Back Day.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.