As part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 26, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will now be accepting vaping products, including e-cigarette cartridges and vape pens. Consumers can also drop off unwanted prescriptions.
This is the first year that the DEA will be accepting vaping products, which have drawn scrutiny after a recent outbreak of lung-related injuries and deaths related to vaping.
All lithium ion batteries must be removed from vaping devices before discarding them at the collection sites.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 1,604 lung injuries related to the most recent outbreak, with 34 deaths in 24 states.
The DEA-sponsored Tack-Back day will be held in a variety of locations across the country. The event allows consumers to discard of unused or expired medications anonymously.
The purpose of the event is to help reduce overdose deaths while providing a safe and effective way to discard medications.
Studies have shown that abused prescription drugs are often obtained from friends and loved ones. Disposing the medication down the toilet or in the trash can pose health and environmental hazards.
Since launching the event a decade ago, the agency has collected over 11 million pounds of prescription medications. Take-Back day is held twice per year. In April 2019, the DEA collected 937,433 lbs. (468.72 tons) of medications from 6,258 collection sites across the country.
On average, the DEA collects around 450 tons of medications during the sponsored event.
Take-back collection sites will be open from 10 am through 2 pm local time. A list of collection sites can be found at https://takebackday.dea.gov. Simply enter your location to find the closest collection site. The DEA also provides a search for facilities that offer year-round drug disposal locations. Medications can also be dropped off at participating CVS or Walgreens locations.