Delaware Hosts Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: Delawareans Encouraged to Dispose of Unused Medication

DOVER (Oct. 20, 2021) – Delaware will hold its 21st Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Delawareans can discard their expired or unused medications at locations statewide between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Organized nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), this twice-a-year event is aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse and has resulted in more than 100,000 pounds of medications being collected in Delaware since 2010.

According to the DEA, during the last Prescription Drug Take-Back Day held in April, Delawareans visited 25 participating locations, in coordination with 19 law enforcement agencies, and returned 5,167 pounds of unused medications.

Medications being disposed of on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment and batteries will not be accepted. Delaware residents can search for the nearest participating Drug Take-Back Day sites at takebackday.dea.gov.

Properly discarding unused medications is an important component of addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic. It reduces the risk of addiction by keeping prescription medications out of the hands of people who may misuse, abuse or sell them, and it helps reduce the risk of drug overdoses.

In 2020, 447 people died in Delaware from a drug overdose, a 3.7 percent increase from the 431 reported in 2019 by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science (DFS). In the first half of 2021, 266 people have died in Delaware from a suspected drug overdose, according to DFS.

“The abundance of unused drugs in our medicine cabinets and communities has helped to fuel the opioid epidemic,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “By turning in your no-longer-needed prescription medications safely on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, you can help fight the epidemic in Delaware while also making your home safer.”

In 2020, 45.2 retail opioid prescriptions were dispensed for every 100 people in Delaware, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rate of retail opioid prescriptions dispensed for every 100 people was 53.2 in Sussex County, 46.8 in New Castle County and 29.7 in Kent County, according to the CDC.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition to the sites participating in October’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are 28 permanent medication drop-off locations across the state available year-round. Six of Delaware’s permanent drop-off sites are in Walgreens pharmacies, and the other 22 are located in local law enforcement agencies. For a list of permanent collection sites, visit https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call the Delaware Hope Line at 833-9-HOPEDE. To search online for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit HelpisHereDE.com. To search online for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit HelpIsHereDE.com.


26 Delaware Locations to Participate in Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, April 24, 2021

Delaware will hold its 20th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Delawareans can discard their expired or unused medications at 26 locations statewide between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Organized nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is operated locally by the Division of Public Health (DPH). The twice-a-year event is aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse, and has resulted in nearly 100,000 pounds of medication being collected in Delaware since 2010. Properly discarding unused medications is an important part of the ongoing effort to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. Doing so, reduces the risk of addiction by keeping prescription medications out of the hands of people who may misuse, abuse, or sell them, and helps reduce the risk of drug overdoses.

“The prescribing of opioids for pain and the abundance of drugs in our medicine cabinets and communities, have been a strong force behind the opioid epidemic,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “By turning in your prescription medications safely on Drug Take-Back Day, you can help fight the epidemic in Delaware while also making your home safer.”

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people in the U.S. misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Since January 1, 2021, there have been 102 suspected overdose deaths in the state. Preliminary estimates for 2020 indicate 446 overdose deaths across Delaware, an increase of 3.5 percent from the 2019 total of 431 deaths, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

In addition to the sites participating in April’s Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are 28 permanent medicine drop-off locations across the state available year-round. Six of Delaware’s permanent drop-off sites are in Walgreens pharmacies and the other 22 are located in local law enforcement agencies. For a list of permanent collection sites, visit https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box.

On Drug Take-Back Day, medications for disposal must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment and batteries will not be accepted.

Delaware’s Drug Take-Back Day sites for April 24, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. are:

New Castle County:

  • Christiana Surgicenter, Christiana Hospital, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark
  • Wilmington VA Medical Center, Main Entrance Circle, 1601 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington
  • New Castle County Airport, 151 N DuPont Hwy., New Castle
  • Delaware City Police, 407 Clinton St., Delaware City
  • Newark Police Department, 220 S Main St., Newark
  • Delaware State Police, Troop 2, La Grange Parkway, Glasgow
  • Middletown Police Department, 130 Hampden Road, Middletown
  • Delaware Department of Justice MFCU/Cadia Healthcare Silverside, 3322 Silverside Road, Wilmington

Kent County:

  • Dover Airforce Base, Dover Commissary, 268 Galaxy St., Dover
  • Rite Aid, 1580 S. Dupont Hwy., Dover
  • Dover Police Department, 400 S Queen St., Dover
  • Delaware State Police, Troop 3, 3759 S State St., Dover
  • Felton Police Department, 24 E Sewell St., Felton
  • Milford Police Department, 400 NE Front St., Milford
  • Polaris Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, 21 W. Clarke Ave., Milford

Sussex County:

  • Laurel Police Department, 205 Mechanic St., Laurel
  • Milton Police Department, 101 Federal St., Milton
  • Delaware State Police Troop 4, 23652 Shortly Road, Georgetown
  • Lewes Ferry Terminal, 43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes
  • Lewes Police Department at Lewes Board of Public Works, 129 Schley Ave., Lewes
  • Delaware State Police, Troop 7, 19444 Mulberry Knoll Road, Lewes
  • Rehoboth Beach Police Department, 229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach
  • Ocean View Police Department, 201 Central Ave., Ocean View
  • Selbyville Police Department at CVS, 36252 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville
  • Selbyville Police Department, 1 Church St., Selbyville
  • Delaware State Police Troop 5, 9265 Public Safety Way, Bridgeville

Find the most complete and up-to-date locations on the DEA’s Drug Take-Back Day website at: takebackday.dea.gov.

For more information about proper disposal of prescription medications, visit https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box#symptoms-of-an-overdose.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call Delaware Hope Line at 833-9-HOPEDE. To search online for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit HelpisHereDE.com.

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Delawareans Have More Options When Disposing of Unwanted Medications

DOVER (Oct. 6, 2020) — Delawareans now have more options when it comes to keeping their unused medications out of the wrong hands.

In the last year, seven new permanent prescription drug drop boxes have been added to the state’s existing locations, boosting the statewide count to 28. The drop boxes are available year-round.

There are 10 permanent drop box sites in New Castle County, seven in Kent County and 11 in Sussex County. Statewide, there are prescription drug drop boxes inside 10 pharmacies, one behavioral health center, and the remainder are located in the lobbies of town or city police agencies.

“Now more than ever, while people are spending more time at home and are facing a great amount of stress, it is important to properly dispose of unwanted medications,” said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Studies show that most opioid addictions start with a prescription. These same studies show us that more than half of the people who misused these prescriptions received them from a friend or family member. You can save lives by simply taking your unused medications to a secure drop box location.”

Disposing of unused medications at safe drop box sites can save lives and, in many cases, can prevent addiction before it even begins.

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription pain reliever misuse was the second most common form of illicit drug use in the United States. Other studies show that prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, often used for anxiety, and stimulants also are also frequently misused.

More than half of the people who misused pain relievers obtained them from a friend or family member, according to the report “Key Substance Use and Mental Health in The United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”

The need to secure opioid prescriptions medication is even more pressing in Delaware because it has the highest rate of high-dose and long-acting/extended release opioid prescriptions written in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical providers have written 60.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Delaware residents, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Delaware also has the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation, according to the CDC. In 2018, 400 people died from a drug overdose in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. Eighty-eight percent of those deaths involved an opioid, according to NIDA.

As of October 2, 2020, 276 people are suspected to have died from a drug overdose in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

Properly discarding prescription medications at secure drop box locations — particularly opioid prescriptions — can keep these medications from being stolen, misused, or out of the hands of small children and animals who may accidentally be poisoned by them.

Proper disposal at drop box locations also protects Delaware’s groundwater from contamination that occurs when medications are flushed down the toilet.

The 28 permanent prescription drug drop box locations are listed below by county. Check in with each location, as some have implemented COVID-19-related restrictions.

New Castle County

Newark Police Dept. 220 S. Main St. Newark, DE 19711

New Castle County Police Dept. 3601 N. DuPont Hwy. New Castle, DE 19720

Wilmington Police Dept. 300 N. Walnut St. Wilmington, DE 19801

Walgreens 1120 Pulaski Hwy. Bear, DE 19701

Walgreens 6317 Limestone Road Hockessin, DE 19707

Walgreens 2119 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803

CVS Pharmacy 1545 Pulaski Hwy. Bear, DE 19701

CVS Pharmacy 4020 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803

University of Delaware Police Dept. 413 Academy St. Newark, DE 19716

Rite Aid 2034 New Castle Ave. New Castle, DE 19720

Kent County

Dover Police Dept. 400 S. Queen St. Dover, DE 19904

Smyrna Police Dept. 325 W. Glenwood Ave. Smyrna, DE 19977

Felton Police Dept. 24 E. Sewell St. Felton, DE 19943

Camden Police Dept. 1783 Friends Way Camden, DE 19934

Harrington Police Dept. 20 Mechanic St. Harrington, DE 19952

Milford Police Dept. 400 NE Front St. Milford, DE 19963

Walgreens 1001 Forrest Ave. Dover, DE 19904

Sussex County

Selbyville Police Dept. 68 W. Church St. Selbyville, DE 19975

Greenwood Police Dept. 100 W. Market St. Greenwood, DE 19950

Ocean View Police Dept. 201 Central Ave. Ocean View, DE 19970

Georgetown Police Dept. 335 N. Race St. Georgetown, DE 19947

Laurel Police Dept. 205 Mechanic St. Laurel, DE 19956

Delmar Police Dept. 400 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Delmar, MD 21875

Walgreens 17239 Five Points Square Lewes, DE 19958

Walgreens 22898 Sussex Hwy. Seaford, DE 19973

CVS Pharmacy 17229 N. Village Main Blvd. Lewes, DE 19958

SUN Behavioral Health Delaware 21655 Biden Ave. Georgetown, DE 19947

Millsboro Police Dept. 307 Main St. Millsboro, DE 19966

For further information on addiction recognition, prevention and treatment, visit www.helpisherede.com.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH Encourages Residents to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

DOVER – On Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, Delaware residents can safely dispose of their unused or expired prescription medications at designated sites throughout the state as part of the 18th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Organized nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Division of Public Health (DPH) operates the event at the local level. The twice-a-year event is aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse, and has resulted in over 85,000 pounds of medication being collected since 2010. Properly discarding unused medications is an important tool for keeping prescription medications out of the hands of people who may misuse, abuse, or sell them, and helps reduce the risk of drug overdoses.

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

“Addiction oftentimes begins with prescription medications,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of Delaware’s Division of Public Health. “Unsecured prescriptions can be misused or stolen, or worse, they can become the gateway to illicit drugs such as heroin or fentanyl. The best way to stop addiction is to prevent it. Disposing of unused or expired medications is the best way to keep yourself or your loved ones safe.”

Delaware has the highest rate of high-dose and long-acting opioid prescriptions written in the nation, and has the sixth-highest drug overdose rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unused medications when not disposed of, can lead to misuse, accidental overdose or poisoning. It is a public health and safety issue.

In 2018, 400 people died from drug overdoses in Delaware, according to the state’s Division of Forensic Science, an increase of 15 percent from the 346 individuals who died in 2017. Many of those overdoses involved opioids.

Last April, Delaware residents returned 4,693 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications at 26 collection sites throughout the state. DPH leadership is encouraging residents to return even more medications at the October event.

The service is free, and no personal information will be collected at drop-off locations. Medications for disposal must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment and batteries will not be accepted.

In Delaware, the following locations will accept medications between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.:

KENT COUNTY
• Delaware State Police Troop 3, 3759 South State St., Camden-Wyoming
• Dover Place, 1203 Walker Road, Dover
• Atlantic Apothecary, 103 S. Dupont Blvd., Smyrna

NEW CASTLE COUNTY
• Delaware City Police Dept., 407 Clinton St., Delaware City
• Middletown Police Dept., 130 Hampden Road, Middletown
• New Castle County Airport, 151 North Dupont Highway, New Castle
• Christiana Care SurgiCenter, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark
• Delaware State Police Troop 2, 100 Lagrange Ave., Newark
• Newark Police Dept., 220 South Main St., Newark
• Shipley Manor Nursing Home, 2723 Shipley Road, Wilmington
• Wilmington VA Hospital, 1601 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington

SUSSEX COUNTY
• Delaware State Police Troop 7, 18006 Coastal Highway, Lewes
• Lewes Ferry Terminal, 43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes
• Milford Police Department, 400 NE Front St., Milford
• Milton Police Department, 101 Federal St., Milton
• Ocean View Police Dept., 201 Central Ave., Ocean View
• CVS Pharmacy, 36252 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville
• Selbyville Town Hall, 1 W. Church St., Selbyville

While National Prescription Take-Back Day happens only twice a year, it is important for Delaware residents to know that they can drop off their unused or expired prescription medications year-round at any of the state’s 21 designated drop-box locations. Visit https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box for a list of disposal sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Drug Take-Back Day Event Collects 5,385 Pounds of Unwanted Or Expired Medications

DOVER (May 15, 2019) – During the 18th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on April 27, 2019, Delaware collected 5,385 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Division of Public Health (DPH). That amount is approximately 1,600 pounds more than the 3,739 pounds collected in October. Since the first event in May 2010, Delaware has collected a total of 90,291 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine.

In addition to the 24 drop-off locations open to the public on April 27, there are also 21 permanent medication drop-off locations throughout the state. DPH officials say the increase in collections can be attributed to the cumulative efforts of the permanent drug collection sites, which turned in their medications collected over several months to the DEA on the day of the event.

“We appreciate all of the participants that take part in this biannual event, including not only the public, but also state and local law enforcement agencies,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Holding these events and giving residents a safe place to dispose of their prescription drugs will continue to decrease the risk of drug misuse and substance use disorder, as drug experimentation often begins at home. However we continue to encourage Delawareans to take advantage of the permanent prescription drug drop box locations and not feel that they have to wait for the next event to come around.”

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Since January 1, 2019, there have been 84 suspected overdose deaths in the state. In 2018, 400 Delawareans died from drug overdoses, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

DPH urges Delawareans to keep medications locked away and to drop them off at a permanent drug collection location when they are no longer wanted, necessary or have expired.

For recommendations on handling unwanted or expired prescription drugs, contact the DEA at 1-800-882-9539. If you were unable to participate in the April 27 event, you can still dispose of your prescription medication at one of Delaware’s 21 permanent drug disposal sites. View the list of sites at https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box.

The cumulative collections from the biannual Delaware Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events are:

May 14, 2010: 1,680 lbs.
September 25, 2010: 303 lbs.
April 30, 2011: 4,395 lbs.
October 29, 2011: 4,465 lbs.
April 28, 2012: 6,808 lbs.
September 29, 2012: 4,561 lbs.
April 27, 2013: 6,122 lbs.
October 26, 2013: 5,258 lbs.
April 26, 2014: 6,476 lbs.
September 27, 2014: 4,707 lbs.
September 12, 2015: 7,227 lbs.
April 30, 2016: 7,684 lbs.
October 22, 2016: 6,059 lbs.
April 29, 2017: 5,211 lbs.
October 28, 2017: 5,518 lbs.
April 28, 2018: 4,693 lbs.
October 27, 2018: 3,739 lbs.
April 27, 2019: 5,385 lbs.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.