Drug Enforcement Agency National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled for April 29, 2017, at sites in all 50 states

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, creating a serious public health issue. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription drugs, such as those medications used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders, and anxiety, are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana among illicit drug users.

Quest Health Trends™ Study

A Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ Prescription Drug Monitoring Report supporting this statement from NIDA found that the majority of American adults taking opioids and other commonly prescribed medications use them in ways that put their health at risk.

Believed to be the largest ever examination of prescription drug misuse patterns based on physician-ordered laboratory tests, the multi-year analysis of 3,143,739 de-identified test results revealed that 54 percent of patient results tested in 2015 showed evidence of drug misuse, slightly above the 53 percent misuse rate in 2014. The study is based on results of patients tested in 49 states and the District of Columbia between 2011 and 2015.

Bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that the majority of prescription drug abusers report in surveys that they get their drugs from friends and family. That is why the agency holds bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, to bring awareness to this issue and prompt Americans to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.

Quest Diagnostics proudly supports National Drug Take-Back Day. Quest recognizes that cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and bedside tables reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers. In May 2016, the DEA and more than 4,200 off its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines at almost 5,400 sites spread through all 50 states, beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by more than 114,000 pounds.

People who are interested in disposing their prescription drugs can visit the DEA National Drug Take-Back Day website to learn more about disposing their drugs on this day or at a time of their convenience.