The event is sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, and addresses what they term a crucial public safety and public health issue. 

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 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.

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

Due to COVID-19, many of the events will be drive-thru, such as the one in Lexington, which will be located at Kentucky American Water Company on Richmond Road.

“Disposing of unwanted medication at our drive-thru take back site is safe, quick and easy,” said Todd Kuehnlein, resident agent in charge of the Lexington DEA office. “Residents can stay in their car and don’t need to sign anything or provide any information.”

Items accepted at Take Back Day include prescription and over-the-counter pills, vitamins, medicated ointments and lotions and pet medication. Liquids, aerosol cans and needles are not accepted.

During the Take Back event in October 2019, Americans turned in 441 tons of prescription drugs at thousands of drop-off sites across the country. That included more than seven tons collected in Kentucky.

In addition to National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, many pharmacies and hospitals offer permanent drop boxes where residents can dispose of prescription medication.

For more information about Take Back Day, the safe disposal of prescription drugs, as well as the drop-off sites located across Kentucky on October 24, go to

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