Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: October 18, 2017
DOVER, DE (Oct. 18, 2017) - With hundreds of lives being lost to drug overdoses each year in our state, Delaware will hold a Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 28, 2017, to help reduce the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse. Delawareans can discard their expired or unused medications at 22 locations statewide between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Saturday.
Organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Health and Social Service (DHSS), the twice-a-year event has resulted in more than 70,000 pounds of medication being collected in 14 events. Properly discarding unused medications reduces the risk of addiction, keeps prescription medications out of the hands of people who may abuse them, helps prevent drug overdoses and protects groundwater.
"With the recent suspected overdose deaths in Kent County, people across the state are wondering what they can do to reduce the impact of addiction," said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. "One concrete thing that everyone can do is to use Drug Take-Back Day as an opportunity to turn in your expired or unused medications. Tragically, in more than 80 percent of the 308 fatal overdoses in Delaware last year, the presence of one or more prescription drugs was detected." National studies show that almost two-thirds of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, including by raiding medicine cabinets, purses and drawers.
As of Oct. 18, 2017, there have been 180 suspected drug overdose deaths in Delaware. In 2016, 308 people died from drug overdoses, compared to 228 in 2015 and 222 in 2014.
In addition to the 22 participating sites in Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are also 21 permanent medicine drop-off locations across the state available year-round. In April, Walgreens became the first private Delaware retailer to install safe medicine disposal boxes. Six of Delaware’s permanent drop-off sites are in Walgreens pharmacies. The remaining 15 are located in local law enforcement agencies.
"Drug Take-Back Day is an important day to drop off medications, but we want people to be aware that they can safely dispose of unused and expired medications all year round," said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "The permanent locations are an important tool in our fight against addiction, along with providing access to the drug overdose-reversing medication naloxone and getting those struggling with addiction into treatment."
Delawareans seeking help for drug addiction, medical providers seeking information on patient education and treatment resources, or individuals searching for information about naloxone training classes and how to use the medicine, can visit www.HelpIsHereDE.com. The website, Delaware's one-stop-shopping resource for information about education, prevention and treatment options for addiction, also features short testimonial videos from Delawareans in long-term recovery, parents who lost adult children to overdoses, a treatment provider and a police officer.
On Drug Take-Back Day, drugs for disposal must be in a container such as a pill bottle, box, blister pack, or zipped plastic bag, with personal information removed. Liquid medications must be in their original containers. Needles, aerosols, biohazard materials, medical equipment, and batteries will not be accepted.
For more details and a list of permanent collection sites, visit DPH at
dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/hhdrugtakeback.html or 302-744-4546, ext. 4; and the DEA at
Delaware's Drug Take-Back Day sites for Oct. 28, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. are:
For further information on addiction recognition, prevention and treatment, visit www.helpisherede.com. A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.