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.


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.


Delaware’s Drug Take-Back Event Successful Again; Total Collected: 76,474 Pounds

DOVER  – In the 15th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on Oct. 28, Delaware collected 5,518 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Division of Public Health (DPH). Since the first event in May 2010, Delaware has collected a total of 76,474 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine.

In addition to the 22 locations statewide on Oct. 28, there are also 21 permanent medicine 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.a picture of a pill bottle with pills spilling out of it

National studies show that more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers obtain them through friends or relatives, or by raiding medicine cabinets. The studies also suggest that twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.

“The fact that the public is using the Drug Take-Back Day collection sites to dispose of expired and unwanted medications is very encouraging,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “At this time two years ago, we had eight permanent collection sites and have increased that to 21, thanks to Walgreens and local law enforcement locations, making it easier for our residents to access regardless of their geography. Since people often begin experimenting with drugs at home or from the homes of family or friends, it is extremely important that we hold events such as these to minimize the risk of drug abuse and addiction.”

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 Oct. 28 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 www.DelawareHealthyHomes.org.

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

Event Date  # Pounds
 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.
 TOTAL  76,474 lbs.

 

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.


Delaware’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Event Collects A Record 6,808 Pounds Of Medicine

52 Percent Increase Over October 2011

Delaware State SealDelaware residents participated in the 2012 Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28 in record numbers, turning in more than 6,808 pounds of unwanted or expired medications at the 31 take-back sites statewide.

“It is gratifying to see how Delawareans responded overwhelmingly to the call to turn in their expired and unused prescription medications,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “People are helping to alleviate the problem of prescription drug abuse. Their actions will likely save lives.”

Since the first statewide Drug Take Back event was held in May 2010, the five Take-Back Days have collected a total of 17,651 pounds of medicines.  The statewide Drug Take-Back Day events have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue.  Along with the Governor’s Office, the state departments of Health and Social Services, State and Safety and Homeland Security, the Attorney General’s Office, the federal DEA, and the Delaware Cancer Consortium partnered together in support of the event.

The Take-Back events are a significant piece of DPH’s prescription drug abuse prevention efforts and the Prescription Drug Action Committee.  The Prescription Drug Action Committee (PDAC) is a partnership with the Medical Society of Delaware, chaired by Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director, DPH, and vice-chaired by Dr. Randeep Kahlon, President, Medical Society of Delaware.  The DPAC is looking at permanent ways that other states use to encourage people to turn in expired and unused medications.

“Delawareans should be commended for their terrific response on the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day,” Dr. Rattay said.  “The Drug Take-Back Day is an important way to keep unused and unwanted drugs off the streets and away from children. It is part of a comprehensive strategy being developed by the PDAC to combat prescription drug abuse in Delaware.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month. Often, some of these medicines languish in the home and are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  In 2009, the Delaware Health Statistics Center reported 137 deaths in Delaware due to drug overdoses. Eighty percent of drug overdose deaths in that year involved one or more prescription drugs.

For more information on future Drug Take-Back Day events or recommendations on handling prescription drugs in the interim, contact DPH’s Healthy Homes Program at 1-800-464-HELP (4357).  The next Drug Take-Back Day is planned for October 2012.

 

  • 6,808 pounds of medications were collected at the April 28, 2012 Drug Take Back event in Delaware.
  • 4,465 pounds of medications were collected at the October 29, 2011 Drug Take Back event in Delaware.
  • 4,395 pounds of medications were collected at the April 30, 2011 Drug Take Back event in Delaware
  • 303 pounds of medications were collected at the September 25, 2010 Drug Take Back event in Delaware.
  • 1,680 pounds of medications were collected at the May 14, 2010 Medicine Cabinet Cleanout Day event in Delaware

Total Amount of Medications Collected at Delaware’s Statewide Drug Take Back Programs:

Event Date # Pounds

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.

TOTAL             17,651 lbs.