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DHSS Press Release

Josette Manning, Secretary
Email: DPH Media Relations Coordinator Contact:
Laura Matusheski

Date: October 24, 2023


Delawareans are invited to dispose unused or expired medications at the DPH's drug take-back event.

DOVER, DEL. (Oct. 24, 2023) - Delaware will hold its 25th National DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Delawareans can discard their expired or unused medications at locations statewide between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Sharps disposals for needle disposal will be available at select locations, as well as overdose response education with free Narcan available at select locations.

Organized nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is operated locally by the Division of Public Health (DPH). The twice-a-year event is aimed at reducing the risk of prescription medications being diverted for misuse and has resulted in 114,470 pounds of medication being collected in Delaware since 2010. Properly discarding unused medications through this event is an important ongoing activity in the effort to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. Doing so reduces the risk of addiction by keeping prescription medications out of the hands of people who may misuse, abuse, or divert them and helps reduce the risk of drug overdoses.

Help reduce the risk of having unused prescription drugs in the house by participating in this free event. Addiction can begin with easy access to prescription medications in the homes of someone they know. Many misused prescription drugs are obtained from family or friends.

A total of 4,200 pounds of unneeded medication were collected at 23 Delaware locations on October 29, 2022.

In addition to the sites participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day activities, there are permanent medicine drop-off locations available year-round. In addition to medicine drop-off locations, DPH and community partners also distribute Deterra bags (medication deactivation bags) to use at home.

The medications to be disposed of at the Take-Back Day locations 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. Besides medications, vape pens and e-cigarettes will be collected if the batteries are removed. Twenty (20) locations in Delaware are currently participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back event. You can find the current list of locations here:

Delawareans can bring any used needles to be disposed of properly at the Laurel, Milton, Middletown and Wilmington police departments. The used needle disposal containers are only for the public and not commercial entities. Individuals will need to sign a waiver stating that needles are from home use. Outside of healthcare facilities, an estimated 7.8 billion injections occur a year according to solid waste and recycling organization Waste 360. The safest way to dispose of needles is to use a designated Sharps disposal container which is delivered to incinerators to avoid accidental exposure.

To further enhance overdose prevention and education efforts, six of the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back locations (Wilmington, New Castle, Middletown, Dover, Milford, and Laurel Police Departments) will also offer Overdose Response Training and Narcan distribution to the public. It is recommended that anyone who has a prescription for opioids or has friends and family who use opioid prescriptions or illicit drugs receive this training and the overdose reversal medication, Narcan. For other community trainings and where to get free Narcan, visit:

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call DHSS' 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment and recovery options. In New Castle County, call 1-800-652-2929. Or in Kent and Sussex counties, call 1-800-345-6785. For free 24/7 counseling, coaching, and support, as well as links to mental health, addiction, and crisis services call the Delaware Hope Line at 833-9-HOPEDE. To search online for treatment and recovery services in Delaware or nearby states, visit

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation. DPH 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.

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind, or speech-disabled can contact DPH by first dialing 711 using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free; to learn more about how it works, visit

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.