National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Monday April 23, 2012

What is it?

First initiated on Sept. 24, 2010, by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), April 28, 2012, marks the fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event provides a venue to dispose of unused/unwanted and expired prescription drugs. During the first three National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, the American public turned in more than 498.5 tons of medication. The U.S. Army is partnering with the DEA to support this event for the third time.

Why is this important to the Army?

Many medications, particularly prescription painkillers, sit unused and unsecured in medicine cabinets, making them readily available. A 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health notes most young people who misuse prescription medications obtain them from friends or family. Abuse of prescription medication is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

The Army is committed to supporting raising public awareness of DOD's efforts to foster safe and drug-free military communities. The Army's previous efforts contributed to the overall DEA National Prescription Take-Back Day program, which netted more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of medications at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states.

Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Garrisons, in coordination with the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM), will support the National Prescription Take- Back Day, April 28, 2012, and will coordinate with local law enforcement officials to provide an environmentally safe venue for disposal. The IMCOM Garrisons' Army Substance Abuse Programs (ASAP) offices will serve as the local point of contact.

Installation Provost Marshal Office (PMO), or Directorate of Emergency Services (DES), will provide security at the drop off locations, as only law enforcement officials can legally collect unwanted prescription drugs at these events. The collection points will be in areas of high visibility to the military community.

What has the Army done?

During the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29, 2011, 27 garrisons had participated and turned in 2,000 lbs of drugs.

Only continental U.S. garrisons can participate because this is a DEA event. The Army will place collection sites where people can turn in their unused, unneeded and expired prescription medications. This service is free and anonymous. For more information on the sites, see resources below:


Army Installation Management Command


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Senior Leaders are Saying

"Garrisons will be conducting another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2012. IMCOM has taken the lead for the Army and participated in two previous take-back days that were very successful. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous Army-sponsored events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

I ask that you support your local National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day collection point and eliminate the risk of abuse or accidental poisoning by turning in your unwanted and unused drugs."

- Lt. Gen. Mike Ferriter, commander, U.S. Army Installation Management Command and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management

What They're Saying

"It's grueling to walk that far, but seeing and hearing the support of people driving by, yelling encouragement, waving and saying they're proud of the Army and of us, it kept us going. And it made me proud to be part of something affecting so many."

-Sgt. 1st Class Robert Cooper, speaks about the participation of the Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers in a 30-mile foot march from Fort Knox, Ky., to Kosair Children's Hospital in downtown Louisville, Ky., as a mark of support and encouragement to the families of the sick children.

Fort Knox WTB cadre march to Children's Hospital


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