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Free opportunity to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs

Image of DEA Drug Take Back Day

FOR RELEASE: April 16th, 2021

SYRACUSE, N.Y. –  With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration announces its 20th Take Back Day is scheduled for April 24th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Dozens of local police departments and drug stores across New York have partnered together to provide a free opportunity to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

To find a site closest to your home check out this link.

At its last Take Back Day in October, 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-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

In addition to the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day:

If you are in Onondaga County, since 2015 our SNADD Program has partnered with 11 police departments plus Onondaga County Community College and SUNY Environmental School of Forestry to make medicine boxes available and most collect sharps/needles. Residents can drop-off their old, expired medications and used hypodermic needles, sharps and lancets at these sites during regular business hours year-round.

If you are in Western New York, review this list for drop-off locations year-round.

The DEA says collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. 

In the case of a poisoning or for information purposes, call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area.

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About Upstate New York Poison Center

Housed inside Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, the Upstate New York Poison Center is dedicated to reducing the number, cost and severity of poisonings within its designated 54-county service area as mandated by New York State Law. The Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to both health professionals and the general public at 1-800-222-1222.

About Upstate Medical University

SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, is the only academic medical center in Central New York. It is also the region's largest employer with 9,460 employees. Affiliated with the State University of New York, Upstate's mission is to improve the health of the community through education, biomedical research and health care.