Spilled Pills

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A hands-on approach to getting hands off of dangerous prescription drugs is scheduled for Saturday across Delaware, and the nation.

The semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is planned for October 28, 2017, and aims to collect unused and unwanted prescription medications, which has been known to lead to accidental poisonings and prescription drug abuse.

On Thursday, October 26, President Donald Trump addressed the nation's opioid addiction crisis.

"Effective today, my Administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, under federal law," he said, in a speech at the White House, "and why I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis. This marks a critical step in confronting the extraordinary challenge that we face."

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration held the first-ever Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 25, 2010, which removed more than 121 tons of pills from America's medicine cabinets.

Since that seminal event, the nationwide collection effort has continued to grow:

  • April 30, 2011...........................188 tons
  • October 29, 2011.....................189 tons
  • April 28, 2012...........................276 tons
  • September 29, 2012.................244 tons
  • April 27, 2013...........................371 tons
  • November 2, 2013....................324 tons
  • May 3, 2014..............................390 tons
  • September 27, 2014.................309 tons
  • September 26, 2015.................351 tons
  • April 30, 2016...........................447 tons
  • October 22, 2016.....................357 tons
  • April 29, 2017...........................450 tons

The Spring 2017 event, as shown, was a record-setter with 4,223 law enforcement agencies, and 5,498 collection sites, participating nationwide.

Citizens can anonymously dispose of their unwanted, unused, and expired medications, under the following conditions:

  • Keep all pills, liquids, or ointments in their original containers
  • Scratch out, or remove, any personally identifiable information
  • Do not remove, or obscure, the name of the drug

According to statistics from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. In Delaware, that same year, the state Division of Public Health noted that 198 people died from accidental, and intentional, drug poisonings.

If you are unable to visit one of the 24 collection sites in Delaware on October 28, between 10 a.m and 2 p.m., you are strongly encouraged to visit one of the several year-round drop-off locations.