Sarasota Police Partners With DEA To Take Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

The Sarasota Police Department will partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., to provide the community another chance to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Residents are encouraged to bring expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs to the Sarasota Police Department Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.


This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that are in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.  Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.  Prescription drugs that are unused and flushed can contaminate water supplies.  Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. 

Collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.  Sites can collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs.  Sites cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.  The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.  The April 24th event is the DEA’s 20th nationwide event.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during a 12-month time period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in 12 months.  The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin before the COVID-19 health emergency but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

During the last Take-Back Day in October 2020, the DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs.  Over the 10 years of Take-Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs.  With studies indicating many abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

Photo from takebackday.dea.gov

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Centers for Disease Control, DEA, Events, Prescription, Sarasota Police, Suncoast, Take Back Event

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